East Bay real-estate community selflessly serves homeless veterans

By Jim Walberg
From his blog: East Bay Real Estate Community Supports “Stand Down”!

2008 “Stand Down” serves 600 homeless veterans at the Alameda County Fairgrounds August 7th - 10th!

Another example as to how your real-estate community and its service providers continue to give back to the needs of the Bay Area was demonstrated on Friday, Aug. 8 at 5:30 a.m. at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. Members of the REALTORS® Marketing Association served breakfast to a “village” of war veterans.

Every two years the Diablo Valley Vietnam Veterans Association arranges for an entire “tent city” to be set up in the East Bay so homeless veterans can be served. “Stand Down” is a term used during war to describe the practice of removing combat troops from the field and take care of their basic needs in a safe place. That is exactly what has been created for 600 homeless veterans this week. The RMA contracts Ruggie’s Restaurant in San Ramon to supply ALL the food they serve.

REALTOR® Mike Weber, a member of the Diablo Valley Vietnam Veterans, is the person who continues to invite the real-estate community to be a participant in supporting this important project. They always say YES! Some of the services available for these lost, but not forgotten, veterans are:

- Medical facilities to serve their health needs – including dental, plus a follow-up care program.

- A “field court” with county judges to fast-track clearing up legal issues that may be preventing these veterans from securing employment.

- Job-placement services that also assists them in having DMV re-issued driver’s licenses.

- Assisting with identifying residential opportunities.

- A complete barber shop, new clothing, shoes and other basic clothing needs.

Members of the Diablo Valley Vietnam Veterans were inspired to create the first East Bay Stand Down in 1999 in order to provide a respite from the “streets.” In the midst of all the services provided, their commitment is to treat each of these veterans with respect and dignity. Most of us are unaware, and maybe don’t want to know, that there are about 154,000 homeless veterans on the streets of our cities on any given night. Just in our Bay Area there are over 7,000 homeless veterans! An even sadder statistic is that a BIG number of these veterans have little or no contact with Veteran Administration for either medial or financial aid. Stand Down directly addresses the issue that cannot be ignored any longer - aiding and assisting veterans in need to improve their lives, no matter how difficult it may be to do so.

The first Stand Down was held in San Diego in 1988. It has now been integrated into over 200 cities around the country with over 200,000 veterans and their families being served. A key objective is to break the cycle of the homeless epidemic within the veteran community. These are the men and women who have served our country, and we need to make sure they are not forgotten.

A quote that is appropriate for their mission is, “A community is often judged by how well it takes care of its own.” Serving the needs of those who have served to protect and create Freedom in the world is a worth activity for all of us to consider. Please contact Stand Down or Jim Walberg if you want to personally get involved, or to make financial contributions. Also, contact me any time to find out about other service opportunities for Bay Area community projects. Until next time… your East Bay real estate detective remains on duty.


Editor’s Note:
Jim Walberg is the co-Broker/Owner of The Bay Area Team, the most-successful team at Keller Williams Realty-Danville. He is also a member of the global LuxuryRealEstate.com network. Jim is an exceptional blogger, as you can see by visiting his blogs, East Bay Real Estate and Caribbean Islands Realty, and reading his great blog entries like the one above. He is the master of fractionals and other luxury homes in the Bay Area and the Caribbean, and he always has a lot of great opportunities to share. Philanthropy is awesome. We should all follow the Golden Rule as we go about our many activities in this life. Great people aren’t those who leave behind the most wealth when they die, but those who bless others’ lives and seek to lift their brothers and sisters on their shoulders. Luxury properties are what we sell, but people are who we serve.