MVD services provided to veterans at 2015 StandDown

ADOT employees working at the StandDown Event

At this year's StandDown event, about 35 ADOT employees staffed a temporary, full-service MVD office on-site.

Sadly, homelessness is a problem faced by some who have courageously served their country.

In an effort to assist those men and women, an outreach event called the Maricopa County StandDown is held each year to connect homeless and at-risk veterans with needed resources.

ADOT’s Motor Vehicle Division has participated for the past several years…

Just one of the many agencies on hand to help, MVD can assist veterans who are attempting to get a driver license or state identification card – important credentials to have when applying for employment, benefits and other services.

At this year’s StandDown, held Feb. 12-13 at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, about 35 ADOT employees staffed a temporary, full-service MVD office on-site.

As in previous years, veterans were able to conduct transactions for driver license applications, renewals, written examinations and the road skills test (Courtesy Chevrolet provided vehicles to be used for those who did not have one of their own). They were also able to pick up a snack – MVD employees contributed money throughout the year in order to provide 1,800 sandwiches, 1,600 cupcakes and water at the event.

Jon Jenkins conducting a road test during StandDown

MVD Manager Jon Jenkins conducts a road test at the 2015 StandDown.

Besides MVD, other agencies were at this year’s StandDown to offer housing assistance, legal aid, benefits help and even veterinary services for the pets. Sleeping areas and shower facilities were also provided, along with meals, clothing and haircuts.

MVD Metro East Area Manager Anne Yanofsky serves on the executive board of the Arizona Veterans StandDown Alliance, the group that organizes several StandDown events around the state. Yanofsky explains that veterans who obtain a license or identification card at the StandDown don’t have to pay fees – those are covered by the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness and the Arizona Veterans StandDown Alliance.

“They raise money throughout the year,” she said.

ADOT employees working at the StandDown Event

Early numbers show that more than 1,000 veterans were served by MVD at this year's StandDown event.

MVD Western Area Manager Dave Jackson, a veteran himself, said the StandDown offers a great opportunity to assist those who have served.

“To most of these guys, a driver license or identification card could mean a job,” said Jackson, adding that the credential can also aid with education, housing and other benefits. “It gives them an identity.”

MVD Customer Service Lead Cynthia Marin agrees.

“StandDown helps the community, it helps our veterans,” she said. “We just really appreciate their sacrifice.”

More information can be found on the Arizona Veterans StandDown Alliance website. To learn about MVD’s participation in previous years, check out these blog posts.