PEORIA -- The central Illinois Goodwill chapter is preparing for its 4th annual Stand Down. The event reaches out to the area's growing number of homeless veterans.
Goodwill is busy packing up to help almost 150 homeless veterans.
But Veteran Services Manager Vicki Hightower said she knows there are even more than that. "What I'm seeing more is that our veterans don't want to ask for help."
This event acts as a one stop shop. Goodwill is hosting it, but has called in more than 30 other agencies, including Illinois Central College and the Peoria Housing Authority. Hightower said, "It's just a matter of trying to provide services to our area homeless vets and getting them prepared for the winter and get them connected with services."
Hightower said vets can get personal hygiene products and books, but coats are the biggest necessity.
As the cold weather approaches, she said many veterans are living in cars, or on the streets and coats are the high ticket item.
But in order to get one, they must attend two educational presentations to help them get back on their feet.
Hightower said, "We also offer presentations and workshops where they can get connected with some different things - maintaining sobriety, dealing with depression, especially during the winter months and that."
The event kicks off on Saturday morning at 9:00 A.M. at O'Brien Field.
Also, Goodwill has been named one of the top 25 most inspiring companies by Forbes magazine.
The central Illinois CEO calls it a tremendour honor. She said she believes it has a great combination of running a business and running a business that helps people.