Homeless veterans will receive help at 3 events


AUGUSTA – Three agencies and their community partners plan to join forces from Tuesday, October 5 to host a ‘Stand Down’ for homeless veterans in need of help.

The stand down, co-hosted by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Maine Veterinary Centers and the Maine Bureau of Veterans Services, will be the first of three mobile events in Caribou, Bangor and Lewiston.

The events are as follows:

1. Caribou Stand Down: Tuesday, October 5, 10 am to 2 pm, Caribou community outpatient clinic, 163, chemin Van Buren;

2. Bangor Stand Down, Tuesday, October 12, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, Bangor Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 35 State Hospital St.; and

3. Lewiston Stand Down, Tuesday, October 19, 10 am to 2 pm, Lewiston Community Outpatient Clinic, 15 Challenger Drive.

Veteran advocacy groups supporting the Stand Downs include Maine Veterans in Need, Elks Lodge, Operation Brotherhood, Preble Street, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Volunteers of America, Easterseals Maine, Veterans Inc. and the Maine Career Centers.

“We are thrilled to bring the Stand Down closer to veterans,” said Tracye B. Davis, director of the VA Maine Healthcare System Medical Center, according to a press release from the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services. “VA Maine has done a great job connecting homeless veterans to VA resources during previous Stand Downs. We now need to go beyond our Togus campus to reach homeless veterans and at-risk veterans who have not yet been connected with the VA.

“There are currently 198 homeless veterans” in Maine, said David Richmond, director of the Bureau of Veterans’ Services. “We hope to reach out to this vulnerable population and provide them with the help and resources they need at this critical time. Equally important, we also encourage veterans to participate who are at risk of becoming homeless. “

Veterans in need of assistance are encouraged to attend and will receive cold weather supplies, non-perishable food, resource connection and care packages.

COVID-19 tests will be available and COVID-related security measures will be taken throughout the three events to mitigate the potential spread of the virus. VA Maine will have a team of clinical staff who will perform VA health care eligibility / enrollment and health screening with many of the necessary health resources on site at the Caribou location. They will also provide Narcan first aid kits and give training on how to administer the life-saving product.

Veterinary center staff will also be on site with the mobile veterinary center. The veterinary center will be available for all veterans present who may need their services. Many other services will be available from its community partners, as well as a wide range of cold weather equipment, clothing, supplies and a hot meal.

For more information, call the Bureau of Veterans’ Services at 207-430-6035 or visit maine.gov/veterans.

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