Albuquerque Heading Home Announces Major Expansion
August 15, 2013
Albuquerque- Private and public entities are coming together to support Mayor Richard J. Berry’s Albuquerque Heading Home initiative. Today Mayor Berry joined Lockheed Martin, on behalf of Sandia National Labs to announce an expansion of the Albuquerque Heading Home program to focus on female veterans.
"We want to ensure that we’re getting help to those who need it most," said Mayor Berry. "After two years of success with Albuquerque Heading Home, and almost 250 individuals housed, we’re expanding in an effort to aid our servicewomen in need."
The program simply coined Vets Heading Home will be targeting five critical areas of need: housing, mental health services, employment, childcare and transportation. Lockheed Martin/Sandia National Labs has announced they’re donating $20,000 to the program that check was delivered by Sandia’s Michael Hazen. Meanwhile local volunteers including: Kyla Thompson, Thelma Domenici, and Dorothy Rainosek have vowed to get the Lockheed/Sandia funds matched 4:1, making the combined donation goal $100,000.
Volunteer Kyla Thompson said, "Government and the public sector cannot solve the problem alone - we need the private sector to become partners in this effort. We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg now. In years to come, many, many more of our vets will be heading home. We all need a collaborative effort to make sure no vet in our city falls through the cracks again."
The City’s Family and Community Services Department, with the Metropolitan Homelessness Project, facilitate the AHH program, their next steps are to hire a coordinator, do a needs assessments, inventory and compile existing services, and facilitate outreach efforts.