LEWISTON (WGME) — Several homeless veterans in Maine got some much needed help Tuesday.
Normally, the Veterans Administration at Togus sets a day aside this time of year for homeless vets to have their health care needs met — along with a haircut, massage, hot meal, and cold weather gear.
But because of the pandemic, it was canceled.
Instead, services were offered Tuesday at the Lewiston Veterans Center.
There, homeless veterans are assigned a caseworker who starts work on finding them a shelter or place to live.
They’re also treated to much-needed outdoor gear to keep them warm this winter.
“They’ve donated boots, winter clothing, sleeping bags, warm weather gear, gloves, hats, things like that. And care packages,” said Maine Bureau of Veterans Services Director David Richmond.
“And we’ve got three bags of nonperishable food for them to take with them,” he added.
Counseling is also offered, along with a hot meal.
At least six homeless vets and two spouses took advantage of the help Tuesday.
VA officials said homelessness among vets has risen in maine due to the pandemic, from around 100 vets a month to now about 140.