Farm of Hope
This Press release is to announce the plan to transfer ownership of the current United Veterans of Maine’s property to a private owner.
Once the transfer and sale of the property is completed the current Dahlgren Skidgel Farm of Hope shelter will no longer be used for housing homeless veterans.
This organization, over the past several years, has changed the lives of many Veterans in need and all of this was done at the grass roots level. All of this was accomplished through donations, multiple weekends of fundraising and thousands of volunteer hours.
The United Veterans of Maine would like to thank the community for its massive support in making the plan to build these cabins become a reality. Without the many volunteer hours of construction support from the Loring Job Corps students, who provided carpentry, painting and masonry, this project would still have been just a dream.
It is important to note that the Farm of Hope has fulfilled its overall mission and made an enormous difference in the lives of so many Veterans in need.
Not only has it served its purpose to the best of its abilities, but it has also done so without any additional sustained source of funding. A facility in southern Maine of the same size has paid operational staff and VA financial support resources at their fingertips. No one at the Farm of Hope was ever paid for their work. Everything this group has accomplished has come from the heart, with the Veteran in mind. As of the end of April 2022 the facility has provided 9,689 bed nights for homeless Veterans and each one of those is a success story.
From the beginning this facility has rested financially on the shoulders of two individuals who, over the last two years, have personally used tens of thousands of dollars of their own money to keep the Farm open and operational. The effects of Covid, rising costs and inflation have placed a death grip on daily operations.
This decision also comes from the many changes and the increase of opportunities for veterans throughout the state. These include the new cabins in Augusta and the numerous social health and welfare programs giving homeless individuals vouchers to stay in hotels. Over the past year, we have seen many of the veterans who normally would have been referred to our facility instead take the free room at a local hotel, so in-turn they would not have to contribute anything as most do to stay in our facility. We designed our program as a way for the veterans to be part of their transition back into the community.
Over the past year, we have transitioned all but 3 remaining residents. Many of the referrals coming to the facility for help would not have prospered in our regulated environment, as alcohol and drug use is not tolerated. Our mission always has been to transition a person; it does not enable them. Our 3 remaining residents are in the process of transitioning to private housing or placed into the services for home health care needs. No one will be left behind and our remaining residents will have adequate time and resources to transition successfully, as planned.
All of us at the United Veterans of Maine hope you can understand that even though in the near future this facility will be no longer a veteran’s shelter, you can rest assured that due to its construction and existence it has brought much needed attention to veteran’s needs both at the local and state level. By having the many Veterans’ organizations involvement important changes have been made in reference to veterans needs in Maine. By speaking as one loud voice we have focused the needs of these veterans and brought them to the attention of the legislative process at t the State and Federal level.
Any questions can be addressed to Roger Felix 207-551-3270 or Karen St Peter 207-551-4198.
The United Veterans of Maine Board
The Farm of Hope is the vision of the United Veterans of Maine.
It is a Veterans educational and training facility designed to address the challenges facing veterans in need. This project should be considered a beginning rather than the end of a journey. UVM is in contact with local and state agencies to gain their assistance in providing the kind of support programs needed to remedy these challenges for future programs in Maine and throughout the country.
We expect that the initial plan will constantly evolve, as methodology is tested and developed. The UVM uses a policy of Continuous Improvement and will modify the program deliverables. As it becomes aware of both lessons learned and new ideas or concepts used elsewhere UVM will consider.
Our goal is to provide Veterans with the skills needed to transition into society to become self sufficient and lead a productive and meaningful life.
- To provide safe housing and proper nutrition to those veterans that have served our nation.
- To show these veterans a way to become self sufficient and provide a pathway to reintegrate into society.
- To provide the veterans with a mission and instill a drive that many of them have lost in order to re-establish their sense of self worth.
- By providing a team concept the veteran will gain a sense of self worth and be able to contribute to their own recovery by working toward a common goal with his fellow veterans in need at our facility.
- To assist our fellow veterans by establishing a working relationship with the local service providers. Currently, letters of cooperation have been signed with Cary Medical Center, Pines Health Services, Aroostook Mental Health Center and Aroostook Agency on Aging.
- To provide a central location for local service providers.
- To provide a stable housing model for our veterans.
- To provide On the Job Training (OJT) and mentorship while residing at the facility.
- Policies and procedures will be in place explaining what is expected, how to be successful and what behavior will result in removal from the facility.
Our Mission is to provide veterans in need with wraparound services, lodging and training for all that have served honorably in the Armed forces of the United States.