FARMINGTON — Local service agencies are joining together to provide assistance to homeless veterans in San Juan County on Oct. 27.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2182 will present the first San Juan County Homeless Stand Down from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the San Juan College gym.

The event aims to bring a wide range of support services and basic needs to the area's homeless veterans. They will receive personal hygiene services, a warm meal and medical attention if needed. The Stand Down will also provide assistance enrolling with Department of Veterans Affairs services, housing programs and job opportunity assistance.

"Our theme for this year is leave no one behind," said Beverly Charley, a local veterans employment representative for New Mexico Workforce Connections.

Organizations such as People Assisting the Homeless, the Goodwill and San Juan Regional Medical Center have all pledged time or donated supplies to the Stand Down event; however, donations are still needed, Charley said.

Sleeping bags, winter jackets, underwear, socks and toilet paper are in short supply. Underwear and socks must be new when donated.

Stand Downs are part of the Department of Veterans Affairs effort to provide services to homeless veterans. The first Stand Down was organized in 1988 by a group of Vietnam War Veterans in San Diego.

Although the event focuses on assisting homeless veterans, the Stand Down is open to all homeless people in the area.

"We're here to help everybody in the community," said Jerry Smalley, quartermaster at VFW Post 2182.


Comfort kit donations can be dropped off at the ECHO Food Bank, 401 S. Commercial in Farmington. All other donations can be dropped off at VFW Post 2182, 5513 Highway 64.

For more information on volunteering, donating or on the event, call Beverly Charley at 505-327-6126.