FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 9/27/2021
ALBUQUERQUE HOMELESS STAND DOWN POSTPONED UNTIL OCTOBER 2022
Operation Onward Support will continue to Help During COVID-19 Pandemic
(Albuquerque, NM) –For over 15 years, the annual Albuquerque Homeless Stand Down has helped thousands of Veterans and their families each year living in and / or at-risk of homelessness. One of the largest outreach events in New Mexico, the Stand Down is a collaborative effort that has truly changed lives for the better. Support for our homeless Veterans is even more critical as we continue to be affected by the global pandemic. Unfortunately, as we worked to plan the first Stand Down since COVID-19 shutdowns, the VIC has made the difficult decision to postpone the upcoming October 21st event out of an abundance of caution, and in alignment with the latest NM Public Health Order.
In lieu of the annual event, VIC Staff will be deployed throughout the Albuquerque metro area as part of Operation Onward Support to connect with the homeless through the Fall and Winter months. Our Mobile Outreach Teams will provide critically needed items including food, socks, and cold weather gear as we prepare for the winter months. Emergency housing will be immediately provided to any Veteran willing to accept services by the VIC or other service providers. Referrals to other resources will also be provided.
The VIC is currently accepting donations for our program. Needed items include small toiletry items, backpacks, sleeping bags, blankets, cold weather gear, and shelf-stable food resources. Financial contributions can be made directly to the VIC by going to nmvic.org/donate. Donations are even more needed now to provide essential services and assistance for the approximately 3,000+ Veterans still living on the streets or at-risk of homelessness throughout our state.
The annual Albuquerque Homeless Stand Down is typically held every October at the Rock at Noon Day. The event brings together over 40 local and Federal service providers, many who can immediately help someone in need. Veterans receive a variety of assistance including help with filing for VA benefits, legal consultations, basic medical screenings and immunizations, and many other invaluable services by a caring community.
The Stand Down concept is modeled after military stand downs popularized during the Vietnam War to offer battle-weary soldiers a temporary safe haven to rest, receive medical treatment, get a hot meal, and receive other services before returning to combat action.