Veteran homelessness is a big, but solvable problem, in Maine. And Mainers are united in the belief that no Veteran should have to endure the struggle of homelessness.
In August 2023 when the No Homeless Veterans Challenge launched, there were over 200 Maine Veterans in homeless shelters, sleeping outside, or living in their cars and other places not meant for human habitation. With a goal of ending Veteran homelessness in Maine by June of 2025, organizations that serve Veterans built a coalition to take on this solvable problem.
The Challenge had an extraordinarily ambitious goal of housing 100 Veterans in 100 day and came extraordinarily close to meeting that goal. One of the Veterans housed during the No Homeless Veterans Challenge was Eddy Masten, who recently told the Portland Press Herald that “I’ve never really had a home. I’ve been looking for one this whole time.”
VA Secretary Denis McDonough, Senator Angus King, Representative Chellie Pingree, Veterans organizations, and many Veterans all attended the Challenge kick-off in August!
Because of the success we have seen during the first 100 days of the No Homeless Veteran Challenge, the Challenge will continue for another 100 days. This means that the landlord incentives that were available for those landlords who lease up veterans will continue to be available for the next 100 days. This includes at least a $1000 bonus payment and access to a landlord risk mitigation fund.
“We have established great landlord partnerships during this challenge and know that so many landlords in Maine are invested in ending Veteran homelessness,” shares Laura Clark, Director, Veterans Housing Services. “We have housed unsheltered Veterans, Veterans and their families who were living in their cars, and people in all types of challenging situations. It is important for us to all remember how each person’s life changes once they are connected to housing.”
Landlords and any Mainer who are interested in learning more about how they can help with this important initiative should go to NoHomelessVeterans.org or call (207)956-6556.
Three Preble Street programs celebrated their first year of operation in 2023! Elena’s Way, a Preble Street Wellness Shelter Elena’s Way serves the needs of individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness, individuals unable to access other shelter services, and individuals who are extremely vulnerable should they be unsheltered. At Elena’s Way, guests have control of their own
On Friday, the No Homeless Veterans Challenge kicked off with an event at the University of Southern Maine. A panel featuring U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough, Senator Angus King, and Representative Chellie Pingree was moderated by Dan Hodgkins, Challenge Chair, Senior Director of Social Work, Preble Street. While Mainers are united in the
“In my time working here, I’ve been able to provide people with many things. I’ve given people vouchers, I’ve helped people move into apartments, I’ve helped somebody repair their vehicle. I’ve provided all of these material things. But time and time again, when people talk to me about what was most important to them, it’s been