On May 3, the Santa Fe VA Vet Center was asked to help support the crisis occurring in Las Vegas, NM, and surrounding communities by participating in an outreach crisis response event. The community of Las Vegas, NM, was facing the largest forest fire in New Mexico history. Following forced evacuations in the community, the Santa Fe Vet Center sent staff to lend support to other Veteran organizations on the ground.
Santa Fe Vet Center team at the Miguel Encinitas Veterans Service center
“We gathered at the Miguel Encinias Veterans Service Center in Las Vegas and helped distribute hygiene products, overnight bags of shelf-stable food, and supplies, blankets, bottled water and money vouchers,” said Albert Gomez, director of the Santa Fe Vet Center. “It was a fast response to this crisis.”
The Santa Fe Vet Center outreach team consisted of two outreach specialists and a licensed counselor to help support displaced Veterans.
Helped 100 Veterans with supplies and services
“Despite the disastrous circumstances, as a team we helped 100 Veterans with financial relief, supplies and mental health services,” stated one of the Veteran participants at the crisis event.
The Santa Fe Vet Center stepped in quickly and provided much needed support. “It was truly a Veteran-helping-Veteran mentality on the ground,” said Gomez. “This crisis will not be over anytime soon, and we will continue to provide support either on the ground or remotely to our community Veterans as best we can.”
VA Vet Centers are local, community-based confidential counseling centers that support Veterans, service members and military family members with post-deployment readjustment services.
The goal of every Vet Center is to provide a broad range of counseling, outreach, referral and assessment services, and readjustment counseling services to facilitate high-quality post-war readjustment and reintegration.