What is a stand down?

The Stand Down concept was developed during the Vietnam War. At a secure base camp, troops returning from combat were able to shower, get clean uniforms, enjoy warm meals, receive medical and dental care, and send and receive letters from home. A “stand-down” gave battle-weary soldiers respite and reconnection, much like how the Homeless Stand Down event provides people experiencing homelessness with respite from the elements, renewal of the human spirit, and connection to needed services that assist in the totality of human wellness and sustainability.

What is the history of the Homeless Stand Down in Northeast Ohio?

The first domestic Stand Down was held in San Diego in 1988 as an outreach initiative to homeless veterans and was first held in Northeast Ohio in 1991. The event has been assisted greatly by a variety of local agencies such as Catholic Charities, Veterans Administration, and the City of Cleveland Health Department. The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and InterAct expanded the event until 2012, when HandsOn Northeast Ohio took over after InterAct closed. In 2020, Business Volunteers Unlimited began hosting the event after HandsOn Northeast Ohio closed. BVU distributed care packages, unable to host an in-person event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

When is the Homeless Stand Down?

The Homeless Stand Down will take place on April 23, 2022 at First Energy Stadium from 10AM to 2PM. We are thrilled that the event is returning as an in-person event! An estimated 1,500+ guests will enjoy access to social service providers, haircuts, medical screenings, professional portraits, meals, personal hygiene kits, bus passes and more. For the first time, we have the ambitious goal in 2022 to provide each guest with a new or very gently used pair of shoes or boots (and new socks to go with them!)

The Homeless Stand Down is only possible because of the businesses, agencies, organizations, congregations, civic groups, individuals and families that come together to serve the Northeast Ohio community.

How can you help?

Volunteer: Follow us on social media and we’ll let you know when volunteer opportunities are available. 


Donate: Donate money via PayPal below, find a donation bin or contact us with other product or direct service contributions.


Sponsor: To sponsor the Homeless Stand Down, Contact Rob Zaremsky with BVU.