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Homeless can get free goods, services

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Homeless and near-homeless veterans can receive free goods and services Thursday and Friday during the annual “stand-down” – an event modeled after military stand-downs popularized during the Vietnam War to offer battle-weary soldiers a respite from the battlefield.

Thursday’s stand-down, reserved for veterans, runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Noon Day Ministries, 2400 Second NW. Friday’s stand-down, also at Noon Day, runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is open to anyone – including nonveterans – who is homeless or nearly so.

Free clothing, backpacks, bedding, food, hot meals, hygiene kits, flu shots, basic medical screening, legal consultation and other goods and services will be offered at both events.

Service officers with the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services and the Albuquerque office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will be on hand to assist veterans with filing for their VA and state veterans’ benefits.

Representatives with the New Mexico Veterans’ Integration Center can help participants find shelter and steer them to other available services.

New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions employees will offer employment assistance.

Basic medical screening and flu shots will be available from the New Mexico VA Health Care System.

For more information, call NMVIC program manager Fermin Ortega at 296-0800, or visit