ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – Veterans in Albuquerque now have a new place to find housing, jobs, and more. The nonprofit Heroes Walk Among Us opened its doors 14 years ago in Rio Rancho. They have now moved to a permanent location in Southeast Albuquerque.
Shane F. D’Onofrio is the founder of Heroes Walk Among Us and is excited about the service they’ll be offering veterans at their new location. D’Onofrio bought the building last October and they’ve been working on it since then. The nonprofit’s goal is to help veterans with housing, finding a job, going to college, and help them with transportation.
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“We had a lady in the past who had two kids – died her car, she was taking a bus getting her kids to and from school – we found that out, we got her a car,” said D’Onofrio.
D’Onofrio is a Navy veteran who served for four years before he was medically discharged. He created the nonprofit after he and his wife helped one veteran and they never looked back.
“It was just a place to stay, got him some food, gave him some cash to get on his way. He was going from here to California,” said D’Onofrio. “Heck, we did it once, why can’t we do it again? And my wife was like; ‘do it.’”
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In the last 14 years, they’ve helped hundreds of veterans. Air Force veteran Leslie Diana Ramsey is one of them. Ramsey and her wife were struggling to get by and they now have a home and a job.
“It’s changed my life quite a bit. It’s given me purpose to be here, it’s given me a home. I’m learning,” said Ramsey.
D’Onofrio says they’re able to offer the services due to private donations and working with businesses in the area and the state of New Mexico.
On Friday in honor of Veterans Day, Heroes Walk Among Us will be giving veterans a free haircut and free coffee. They will also be hosting a Thanksgiving dinner at their new location.