Edward Harmon works closely with homeless Veterans in Maine. He helps them connect with resources to find permanent housing. However, it can sometimes take weeks to get the paperwork filled. Furthermore, it may take longer to get the Veteran off the street. Harmon, who served in Vietnam, gathered a couple of his Veteran buddies and got to work. The group began transforming small trailers into temporary housing. Specifically, to get the Vets from under bridges, and out of the cold.
The project is called the Veterans Emergency Temporary Shelter, or VETS for short. Harmon, a service officer with an American Legion post in the town of Boothbay, Maine, raised funds and spent money out of pocket to make 4 of these temporary homes. The all volunteer group has placed an order for an additional 4 trailers. They acknowledge this won’t fix the issue of Veteran homelessness. However, this will help Veterans along process.
Local news reports, “The housing units are one-room living spaces equipped with a bed, microwave and refrigerator, and provide safe and secure housing for veterans for a couple of days to a couple of weeks, or even longer as necessary.”
As temperatures plummet in Maine, COVID-19 struggles have caused homelessness rates rise. This alarmed Harmon, and company who feel the homeless Veteran issue deserves more attention.
Harmon went on to say, “The whole idea is to show them I’ve been there. I understand, and I fight for them.”
Among the other Veterans involved, Arthur Richardson serves as the VETS Vice President. Additionally, John Hargreaves serves as the organization’s Treasurer.
The IRS granted VETS a 501(C)3 nonprofit status. Thus, allowing tax-deductible donations to VETS from individuals and businesses.