Veterans Helping Veterans in Santa Ana

On Thursday, Supervisor Andrew Do and OneOC's Stand UP for Veterans hosted a Veterans Resource Fair at Santa Ana Municipal Stadium. 

OneOC's Stand UP for Veterans is aimed at providing services and assistance to undeserved veterans throughout Orange County. There were over 25 different service providers who participated. 

The fair was organized in a base camp model that included showers, meals, clothing, hygiene care kits, medical and legal advice, veteran benefit information, and employment services, in a safe and supportive environment. Participants were paired with a veteran peer navigator to guide them through the services that were offered. The first 100 who showed up received a “Barracks in a Bag” kit and other free supplies. 

"Our veterans have given us all so much here in the United States," said Supervisor Andrew Do. "As a refugee myself, I'm so appreciative of the sacrifices our veterans made to ensure every single citizen enjoys unprecedented peace, prosperity, and freedom." 

The importance of this event and others like it is undeniable. According to study conducted in 2015, 70 percent of veterans do not have a job when they leave the military in Orange County. Twenty-nine percent of pre-9/11 veterans and 35 percent of post-9/11 veterans had not lined up a housing arrangement. In addition to this, 10 percent of pre-9/11 veterans reported being homeless within the last year, compared to 18 percent of post-9/11 veterans. These statistics show clearly the need for supportive services and programs for our veterans immediately after completing their service. 

"We need to provide veterans with access to every service we can possibly provide to welcome them back to civilian life with reverence and gratitude," said Supervisor Andrew Do. "I'm proud to be able to show my support for our veterans through events like this and opening projects such as Potters Lane, the County's first-of-its-kind veterans housing project." 

The event was held in partnership with the Office of Supervisor Andrew Do, the City of Santa Ana, the Honorable Councilmember Juan Villegas, and many other organizations. Congressman Lou Correa also made an appearance to speak on veterans issues.