2015-05-08 / Community

Rotarians help Maine’s veterans

In its continuing effort to assist Maine’s homeless veterans, the South Portland/ Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club has recently provided, through the Maine Veterans Affairs Offices, the following: 15 sets of pots/pans/utensils, 24 queen size bedding sets, numerous men’s toiletry kits, five air mattresses, dozens of containers of laundry detergents and miscellaneous household items (donated by individual Rotarians).

The club has also worked to establish connections that will provide needed kitchenware items and has assisted in making a one-time rent payment for a veteran who is working to move into independent living. Hundreds of Maine’s homeless veterans need not only shelter but food, medical care and jobs. And those who are in transitional housing badly need many standard household items.

The Rotary Club earlier this year provided public transportation passes, gasoline gift cards, Hannaford gift cards and other items needed by homeless veterans who are working to obtain jobs, get to medical appointments and achieve independence.

The club has been providing similar assistance for the past three years in cooperation with the Veterans Affairs Office.

At any given time, there are more than 100 homeless veterans in Maine suffering from lack of a place to live and other basic necessities. In 2014, for example, emergency shelter was provided to 438 homeless Maine veterans across the state. Other homeless veterans stay in their vehicles or encampments, uncounted.

“We believe, as does the VA, in providing a hand up, not a hand out, to these veterans who have patriotically served all of us,” said Rotary Club President Kathy Cotter.

Help is also welcomed from non- Rotarians in the form of gas and food gift cards, donations of new household items, cash, etc. Contacts are Cotter at kcotter1@yahoo.com or VA transitional housing liaison, Susan Whittington, at 623-8411, ext. 4344 or email Susan.Whittington@ va.gov.

Return to top