Martinsburg VAMC Organized Disengagement of Homeless Veterans from HeroHaven | Newspaper


MARTINSBURG – Martinsburg VA Medical Center hosted the HeroHaven Homeless Stand Down earlier this month, marking 13 years of the annual event to end veteran homelessness.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, this year’s event was once again held outdoors as a “Stop, Drop, & Roll” themed drive-thru.

The veterans all received comfort kits that included sleeping bags, Bibles, backpacks filled with toiletries and shoes. Additional items included cold weather essentials such as blankets, hats and gloves.

“This event is a collaborative effort on behalf of the medical center,” said Michelle Cooke, deputy chief of the mental health service, who oversees the Mental Health Rehabilitation Treatment Program (MHRRTP). Mental health workers were joined by chaplains, nurses, medical administration and more to help with the effort.

Employees were on hand to select and register veterans for services and one veteran was admitted to the facility’s Homeless Veterans Home Care (DCHV) program the next day.

The Martinsburg VAMC operates one of the largest domiciliation programs in the country, with over 200 beds. The Home helps Veterans on their recovery journey through residential treatment programs for rehabilitation, health maintenance and community support.

Eligibility for DCHV varies, but these programs cater specifically to Veterans who are dealing with substance abuse, homelessness, mental health and unemployment through its inpatient therapy and education programs. These services provide recovery-oriented, evidence-based treatment designed to improve the functional status of Veterans, as well as their successful integration into the community.

“We are very proud of the success of this year’s Stand Down event,” said Cooke, who noted that all veteran attendees expressed their gratitude for the information and service provided.


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