Building, box truck, essentials
Maine Homeless veterans alliance (MHVA) is a non profit federally registered 501c3, & was established in 2012. It was founded by 8 Maine veterans with a goal of helping those who also raised their hand for their country. In it’s earliest days, they would collect bottles and cans, which were turned in & used to help homeless veterans. They quickly realized the magnitude of the need, and knew bottles and cans wouldn’t cut it. Sadly most of the original founders have since deceased. Kevin Nicholson of Standish, is still very active in the organization & is the chairman of MHVA.
The MHVA mission is to provide assistance and resources to Maine veterans of United States armed forces, with a focus of those facing homelessness. Other parts of MHVA’s mission, is working with at risk veterans to keep them off the streets, as well as educating the public on the current crisis of homelessness among the veteran community. Many are not aware of how big of a problem this is, and it’s an alarming matter ALL should know about. No one should should have to face the devastating effects of homelessness, especially those who raised their hand and took an oath to defend their country and its freedom. MHVA is making a difference one homeless & distressed veteran at a time. We want to ensure a better tomorrow for every Veteran we cross paths with. Especially during our mission of transitioning them from homelessness to independence in their new home.
In 2020, It Takes a Village 207 (ITAV207) a community outreach program joined forces with MHVA.
What do we do?
MHVA: When a Maine Vet transitions to a home, MHVA helps by furnishing their home. When Kevin shows up to a vets new home, “9 out of 10 apartments are empty, besides a blanket on the floor and a backpack for a pillow” says Kevin. All veterans receive a brand new bed, no more sleeping on the hard ground or the floor. Kevin also brings essentials such as: tables pans, bureaus, tv’s & more. All items are picked up by, transported & delivered solely by MHVA. MHVA also goes out into the community several times a month distributing items such as tents, sleeping bags, hand warmers, food, clothing & more to the Maine homeless communities.
It Takes a Village 207: A community outreach program; Maine neighbors, helping Maine neighbors with life’s challenges. They Provide resources for at risk veterans, families struggling with financial hardship, homelessness, food insecurity, substance abuse, domestic violence, and more. They raise money for families who need things such as: Home appliances, heat , home repairs, school supplies & more. They also have a large annual Christmas assistance program.
Recently MHVA has become flooded with frequent calls from dozens of case managers, social workers and medical professionals seeking assistance from us for veterans in their care. Our assistance is in high demand, however, we need to replenish our resources.
Unlike many other organizations who serve at risk Veterans, MHVA does not receive any State or Federal funding. We rely solely on the generosity of our community and supporters.
Currently, the economy is declining. In the last several years our storage locker costs have doubled, as well as our gas costs. The cost of living sky rocketing, results in contributions significantly decreasing. Then you add the housing crisis, which has increased the number of veterans living on the streets. It’s a crisis that needs urgent action. They need us more than ever, so we need you, the support of our community.
A break down of funds needed:
MHVA needs a box truck. MHVA’s chairman Kevin, (who is also a veterans himsel) uses the current MHVA vehicle to pickup, and deliver all supplies to the homeless communities. When a Veteran is transitioning into a home, Kevin uses the van to pick up brand new beds for each Vet. He also transports: Bureaus, washers, dryers, TVs, tables and much more. He also helps transport for the other programs as well. The van is in dire need of replacement. Our goal is a new box truck, which will make the mission easier.
MHVA also needs a large space where we can have working desks & storage space for furniture, clothing & other items used to help our veterans. Right now between all programs, we have 6 full storage lockers (all in different locations). That’s challenging, as well as costly.
ITAV 207, is in desperate need of a dedicated space to continue the important work they do. They are looking to open a community center to serve more in the community. They currently have several full storage lockers and well as storing items in their own homes. Their homes are over full and they are officially out of space. A big building would not only allow storage, but allow more room to help & allow for volunteers for their growing program. When working out of full storage containers, you can’t fit more than one person and the desperately need volunteers.
With the unprecedented demand for our services, we have reached a point where none of us can continue to operate out of storage units and our own homes. We need a building where all organizations can be under on roof in order to continue to provide these essential services to at risk Veterans, homeless veterans & the communities around them.
Current MHVA needs:
*New Box Truck
*Van for ITAV207 to transport deliveries of donations to their families in need.
*A large building or warehouse where all of our programs can all unite, call home, and have room to grow and flourish
*Capital: Our goal is to have enough funds in the bank for a year of beds, kitchen packs, furniture and essentials for the homeless veterans we help. We need funds for weekly food and essentials distributions. We also need on hand funds for ITAV207 to use when struggling community members come to them needing things like heat, groceries, winter gear, home goods, and of course for their Christmas assistance program that helps over 200 Maine children annually. When each program gets calls for assistance, the help is needed immediately, and we need to be prepared with funds for those emergency situations.
We have many upcoming fundraisers! (Follow us on FB for more info)
We also have a new website ! https://mainehomelessveteransalliance.org/
We appreciate any and all help, big and small! It all adds up! We want to continue making a difference in this world, one Veteran & one struggling Maine family at a time!
(Don’t forget; We are a federally registered, 501c3, so all donations are tax deductible)
Thanks for your support!! It truly takes a village to make a difference and we appreciate you!