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INDIANAPOLIS — There will be a resource event Thursday to get help to veterans experiencing homelessness, and those at risk of it.  

The group Helping Veterans and Families is bringing resources together. This comes as the Indianapolis community has seen an increase in veterans without homes during the pandemic. 

The group had to cancel their event last year due to the pandemic. During that time, veterans experiencing homelessness in Indianapolis increased by 16 percent. 

“We want to make sure that no veteran in our community falls through the cracks. And when they have to go to multiple providers to get assistance, sometimes that happens,” said Helping Veterans and Families of Indiana Vice President of Strategy Emmy Hildebrand. 

“So what we’ve seen through COVID is that veterans, especially those who are unemployed or at risk of homelessness, have been severely impacted by the pandemic.” 

The event is called Stand Down for Veterans. The idea is it brings all the necessary services and resources together in one place to make it easier for those who need help. 

They wanted to make sure they were able to bring the event back to offer the necessary housing and supportive services for veterans. 

“It was really heartbreaking to know that every year we have tremendous support from our community all rallied around providing items and services that our veterans need. So it’s a little bit heartbreaking to know that there’s a need out there that you just can’t meet because it’s not safe to host an event like this. So we’re really excited to be back this year,” Hildebrand said. 

Hildebrand says this may be a difficult time for many veterans, with the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and the current political climate as American troops withdrawal from Afghanistan. 

“We know that veterans are more likely than non-veterans to be homeless. They are more likely to have a physical disability and struggle with substance abuse than non-veterans. So we want to make sure that, especially in times where emotions may be raw or there may be things that are hard to process, that we stand as a resource for those who have defended our freedom.” 

The event will be from noon until 3 p.m. at the Indiana National Guard Armory on West Minnesota Street. Any veterans are welcome to come, masks are required and temperatures will be taken at the door. Veterans will need to register when they get there. 

The group is limiting the number of people inside the building at once time, so there may be a short wait to get in. They ask that anyone who comes have a little bit of patience if that’s the case.