unnamed (9) Over 27,000 veterans currently reside within Mohave County.  In a recent survey, done in partnership with the Mohave County Community Services Department and several other local nonprofits and federal and state agencies, the number of homeless veterans in the county has nearly doubled since 2011.  Out of 256 homeless people surveyed county wide in January veterans amounted to 30% of that number.  “These veterans have risked their lives for this country.  The least we could do is provide them the resources they need during hard times,” Supervisor Buster Johnson stated.  To help combat the rise in homeless veterans throughout the county, Mohave County is once again participating in this year’s Homeless Veterans Stand Down event put together by the Jerry Ambrose Veterans Council.  “We will have a small group of paid staff on site to give out information to veterans on housing assistance along with other county employees who will volunteer their time,” Johnson stated.  Local businesses have also agreed to help out at the event by donating a wide variety of necessities to all veterans who attend from free clothing, to boots, blankets, and sleeping bags.  “Because the county is so spread out, it is harder for veterans to find the resources and services they need.  This event will offer a one-stop shop for veterans in need,” Johnson explained. This is Mohave County’s 3rd annual event.  According to Mohave County Recorder Carol Meier, a volunteer and long-time supporter of the event, there are several people who put in countless hours to ensure the event is a success.  Earlene Mahar, an employee in the Mohave County Recorder’s Office, is one of those people.  According to County Recorder Meier, Mahar’s dedication and support of the veterans has gone above and beyond.  “Earlene put in over 70 hours of her own time to create a mat for the event out of prepared bags.  To a homeless veteran this mat means they won’t have to sleep on the cold ground tonight,” Meier explained.  According to Meier, the idea behind the mat became so popular Mahar and several others created a group called Mohave Matters to train anyone who is interested in learning how to assist with making more mats for the event,” Meier continued.  “The mat is made by looping the bags together to create plyarn, also known as plastic yarn, and then crocheting the mats,” Meier explained.  The first mat made by Mahar will be displayed at the Mohave County booth during the event. The 2015 Stand Down will take place in Bullhead City’s Community Park on March 6thand 7th.  If anyone is interested in joining Mohave Matters to assist with making more mats for the veterans, they can contact Earlene Mahar at 218-849-3610. For more information about the Veterans Stand Down, go to www.javc.org.