The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) will be providing free service to veterans participating in Operation Stand Down Weekend which begins this Friday, September 14, 2018. RIPTA will be providing two morning trips to Diamond Hill State Park from Kennedy Plaza on Friday and Saturday, and two afternoon trips back to Providence. On Sunday, RIPTA will provide one trip from the Diamond Hill Park to Kennedy Plaza. This is the 26th Annual Stand Down Weekend organized by Operation Stand Down Rhode Island. The event, which is intended to help homeless and at-risk military veterans, involves the creation of a military style encampment at Diamond Hill State Park in Cumberland where veterans have access to a myriad of services, from medical and dental care to employment assistance.
“We’re proud to be one of the community partners who participate in this important event,” said RIPTA CEO Scott Avedisian. “These are veterans who have served their country and if we can help connect them with services they need, then we are honored to do so.” Last year, Stand Down Outreach Weekend delivered essential services to approximately 500 veterans in need through the efforts of more than 200 volunteers and the participation of over 50 nonprofit, state and federal agencies. Services offered to veterans during the weekend included housing assistance, medical and dental care, food and clothing donations, legal assistance, financial planning, access to the State Department of Motor Vehicles and much more.
“The event has become a cornerstone in the Rhode Island Veteran Community. It has impacted thousands of veterans over the past 26 years. Because the event is geared at low income and homeless individuals, many of the attendees lack transportation to get to this event. With RIPTA as our battle buddy we are able to deliver some of the most vital services available to our local veterans in needs, “said Erik Wallin, Executive Director of Operation Stand Down RI.
RIPTA will be providing the following service for veterans traveling to and from Kennedy Plaza in Providence to the encampment at Diamond Hill Park.
Friday and Saturday, Sept. 14th and 15th
Outbound buses to Diamond Hill Park will leave Kennedy Plaza at 7am and 11am from Bus Stop Y.
Inbound buses returning to Kennedy Plaza will leave Diamond Hill Park at 5pm.
Sunday, Sept. 16th
One Inbound bus will depart Diamond Hill Park for Kennedy Plaza at noon.
There will also be transportation services provided by Operation Stand Down Rhode Island. For full details please visit: http://osdri.org/event/annual-stand-down-weekend/.