Mayor Dave Walters and VA Medical Center Director Mary Beth Skupien will speak at this year’s Homeless Health Fair and VA Stand Down, set for Friday, Oct. 20.
The event is organized by the Calhoun County Homeless Coalition, comprised of about 20 community organizations, including the City of Battle Creek. It is hosted for the third year at Full Blast, 35 Hamblin Ave. More than 500 homeless and formerly homeless neighbors are expected to attend the event, set for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
A VA Stand Down opening ceremony will precede the event outside at 8:30 a.m., with a presentation of the colors by the 110th Attack Wing of the Michigan Air National Guard, and singing of the national anthem. Dr. Skupien and Mayor Walters, himself a U.S. Air Force veteran, will speak during the ceremony.
The City Commission will recognize the event with a proclamation at tonight’s regular meeting, which starts at 7 p.m.
The health fair features free flu shots from Walgreens; health care screenings, including dental checks by Grace Health and diabetes blood testing by the Lions Club; free haircuts; and giveaways of needed items, like socks, toiletries, and blankets. More than 70 vendors are expected to participate.
All attendees will receive two bags of groceries, arranged by the Food Bank of South Central Michigan. Water will be provided by FireKeepers Casino Hotel. Breakfast and lunch will be provided by local churches. The Downtown Rotary and Battle Creek Kiwanis clubs also are event sponsors.
To encourage county-wide participation, Community Action will provide transportation to and from Full Blast. Those who need a ride can call 269-565-4144. Van pickups will be at 9 a.m. at the Albion Library, 501 S. Superior St.; 9:15 a.m. at the Albion Family Fare, 1406 N. Eaton St.; 10 a.m. at the Marshall Library, 124 W. Green St.; and 10:15 a.m. at the Marshall Family Fare, 15900 W. Michigan Ave. Vans will leave Full Blast at 1 p.m. to return to those locations.
A community collection this year is for new and gently-used twin- and full-sized blankets, to be distributed to attendees. The blanket drive is going on now through Wednesday, Oct. 18.
Blanket drop-off locations are as follows:
- MichiganWorks! Southwest locations in Calhoun County
- 200 W. Van Buren St., Battle Creek; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday
- Ludington Center, 101 N. Superior St., Albion; 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday
- Lakeview True Value Hardware; 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday; 660 Capital Ave. SW, Battle Creek
- Minges Creek Athletic Club; 5:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday; 21 Minges Creek Place, Battle Creek
Contact Haven of Rest Ministries with questions, at 269-788-0984.