The Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services (MBVS) and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will be co-hosting the third annual Mobile Homeless Veterans’ Stand Down during the month of October. The first priority of the Stand Downs is to provide veterans with connection to housing and working with partner organizations, the event will also offer access to new winter clothes and boots, VA and state benefits, non-perishable food, haircuts, employment opportunities, and will provide a free lunch to attendees.
“VA and the Bureau are bringing the mobile stand downs to new locations in Maine this year to be closer to veterans at risk,” said Medical Center Director Tracye Davis. “It takes a community to solve a crisis such as veteran homelessness. Collaborating with our partners and our shared mission is the only way we can make a meaningful impact.”
The 2022 Mobile Homeless Veterans’ Stand Downs will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (rain or shine) at four locations around the state:
Oct. 5 – At the Reny’s parking lot; 175 High St, Ellsworth
Oct. 12 – On the campus of the Togus VA Medical Center; 1 VA Center, Augusta
Oct. 19 – At the Forrest Avenue Hannaford; 295 Forest Ave, Portland
Oct. 26 – At the Sanford Vet Center. 628 Main St, Springvale
Veterans Benefits Administration Executive Director, Jennifer Bover noted, “It is our sincere intent to ensure every Veteran has a safe place to call home and is provided with needed support and resources. Please pass the word and come see us at one of the four locations below.”
Veteran advocacy groups supporting the event include: MBVS, VA Maine Healthcare System, Veterans Benefits Administration, VA Center for Development & Civic Engagement, Vet Centers, Elks, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Operation Brotherhood, Career Centers, Wabanaki Public Health & Wellness, V.E.T.S. Trailers, Maine Veterans in Need, Volunteers of America, Sports and Clips, Veterans Inc., Preble Street, and the Salvation Army.
“The stand downs provide an opportunity for the Bureau to connect with Maine’s most vulnerable veterans – both homeless and at risk of homelessness,” noted Director David Richmond. “Each year we bring services to their communities and work to expedite access to housing. It’s partnerships like these that have reduced Maine’s identified homeless veterans’ rate from 200 during the height of the pandemic to 134, and we are actively working to find new landlords statewide who are willing to help us house veterans.”