In 2008, Shane D’Onofrio founded Heroes Walk Among Us – an Albuquerque-based nonprofit whose mission is to get veterans back on their feet.
This year, the organization is expanding to a new location with more services than ever.
KKOB Radio will spotlight this story today as part of the “Good News File.”
The roughly 9,000-square-foot building at San Mateo and Trumble, near the Raymond G. Murphy Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, is divided into three sections. The first features a 1950s-style cafe and barbershop with pool tables, TV screens, couches and a gift shop. The second section offers office space where veterans can use computers, and sign up for free mental health and financial help. The third section acts as a thrift store and needs space where veterans can come to get back on their feet with new clothes, and even groceries.
It’s estimated that the state of New Mexico alone has more than 150,000 veterans, many of whom served during the Vietnam War.
But D’Onofrio is not focused just on the older population; he is also looking out for younger veterans.
“A lot of them get lost,” he says, “they don’t know where to go or what to do when they become a civilian. That can lead to them getting on the wrong path. So, we teach them all those life skills they maybe didn’t learn when they were in the military. Things like budgeting and signing up for health care.”
“The Good News Files” is a collaboration between the Albuquerque Journal, 96.3 NewsRadio KKOB and KOAT-TV. The stories highlight good news stories in the community.