Event Provides Relief to Large Number of Homeless Iowans

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Polk County Veteran Affairs and dozens of other local organizations are making sure those who are homeless have what they need before the winter.

The Homeless Veterans Stand Down served around 700 veterans and homeless veterans as well as around 700 people experiencing homelessness or poverty. Local organizations provided around 3,000 meals, free clothing, medical examinations with flu shots, dental services and legal services.

“This helps tremendously,” said Tycene Bottenfield, who is currently experiencing homelessness. "To just try to get back on your feet and to survive another day in poverty is never fun."

Organizers said many homeless people also have animals, so there was a veterinary tent on site. Those attending said even something as small as a free haircut can help.

“I haven`t had it cut since I was 7 [years old],” said 10-year-old Lidea Clement. “A lot of people need it, and a lot of people deserve to have their hair cut.”

The Homeless Veterans Stand Down has been an annual event for 20 years. Next year`s event will be the third weekend in September.

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