November 14, 2014

From left: Kathy Suiter,Comm. Diane McKeel, Natacha Louden, Dave Landis

For the past 3 years DCJ has sponsored a table at the East County Veterans Stand Down, an event that provides an opportunity for veterans to connect with service providers, get health screenings, counseling, a haircut, hygiene supplies, surplus gear and a hot meal. DCJ expanded its presence this year and was also present for a Stand Down event hosted in Portland.

The "Stand Down" is based on the historic concept of a safe retreat for units returning from combat operations. This event is an opportunity for veterans to connect with service providers and get some basic needs met.

The Portland event was held on September 11th and took place at the Kliever Armory. In addition to offering basic services, it also provided an opportunity for veterans to learn about volunteer employment opportunities.  Human Resources staff, Stephanie Bolson and Shawntia Otero, were on hand to talk to veterans about these opportunities. Mary Sullivan- Reinhardt, Martin Blanco, and Ericka Preuitt were also there to help handout backpacks and other materials and answer questions.  A number of vets had specific questions about warrants, supervision issues, and expungement.

Kathy Suiter, Lynda King-Nicholas, Natacha Louden, and David Landis were on hand at the East County Stand Down that took place on October 11th in Troutdale. They answered questions about DCJ and the role we play in working with Justice Involved Veterans.  Like at the other event, vets asked questions about the criminal justice system and staff directed them in the right direction. Diane McKeel, Multnomah County Commissioner from District 4, was also present and stopped by the DCJ table and took time to check in with the veterans in attendance.

Events like these provide a great opportunity for DCJ staff to continue to give back to our community. David Landis shared a surprising experience.  “I was thanking the vets for their service to their country and one man actually turned and thanked me for my service to the community as a parole officer. Wow! Didn't see that coming.” Opportunities like these also allow for staff from different divisions to work together. Staff from all three divisions, Juvenile, Adult and Administration participated and worked alongside each other.  Thanks to staff who have volunteered at these events over the past 3 years.