ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A metro non-profit is hustling to get homeless veterans into their own homes before the holidays and then are relying on help from the community to make it happen.
The Veterans Integration Center provides transitional housing to get homeless veterans off the streets. They’re preparing to move from an extended-stay hotel into an apartment complex that they will be based out of, so they’re launching “Operation Welcome Home” to collect donations.
“We have, in the seven years that I’ve been here, have always wanted our own place. That’s the same with the veterans that we serve,” said Wendy Webber, Development Director at Veterans Integration Center. “We’re moving from a hotel that we’ve had a great relationship with for probably 10 years. We’re going to move into an apartment complex where an apartment owner, property owner, maintenance company and us came together and are going to be able to create a model for other transitional housing programs throughout the country to model.”
The VIC needs everything from spatulas and dishes to TVs and microwaves for the veterans’ homes. The complex will have 19 total units and they’re hoping to have 15-16 finished for veterans to move into by Thanksgiving.
“We really want to make sure the community understands that we have never felt that we can do this by ourselves, and this is just another example of the community coming beside us to move the organization forward,” said Webber. “The more donations we receive for this program means less dollars that we pay through our own budget that can stay enrolled in taking care of our veterans.”
To add on to an already huge undertaking, the group is moving to a new location. They will have a new headquarters at the complex where they will be able to help even more people in the coming years.
People can make monetary donations online, or, if they wish to shop for some of the items needed but can’t do so in person, they can use the VIC’s Amazon Wishlist. They are also in need of volunteers to help with the move, as well as anyone who can help put together Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for veterans or adopt a veteran family for the holidays.