The Albany State University Department of Social Work faculty and students joined hundreds of volunteers and a coalition of government agencies, community and business leaders, community service organizations, and Veteran Service Organizations from the Middle Georgia region to address the needs of homeless veterans on Sept. 6, in Macon, Ga. Over 16 undergraduate and master’s level students, accompanied by ASU Associate Professor Dr. Irma Gibson, and Levetta Jefferson, field director and instructor, participated in the service learning endeavor that focused on the homeless veterans.
“Stand Downs” are a part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ efforts to provide services such as food, shelter, clothing and health screening to homeless veterans. VA and Social Security benefits counseling, housing assistance, employment referrals and substance abuse treatment were also offered.
“Although the endeavors are a part of the curriculum for the social work program, the gist of the assignment is connected to academic service learning which allows students to exercise civic responsibility and social consciousness while giving back to men and women who sacrificed so much to ensure the freedom of all Americans,” said Gibson.
U.S. Congressman Sanford Bishop and State Representative James Beverly attended the event as services were rendered to an estimated 200 veterans in attendance.
Students and faculty from the ASU Social Work Department will travel to Atlanta on October 5 to support a similar event sponsored by the Atlanta Veteran Affairs Medical Center.