The South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club, which has emphasized assistance to Maine’s homeless veterans, has made another donation of both transportation passes and beds in cooperation with Maine Veteran’s Affairs.

Many of Maine’s homeless veterans have difficulty getting to medical appointments, job interviews and other obligations due to lack of transportation and money. And many, who may be transitioning to their own or to VA housing, are in need of beds and other household items.

The Rotary Club recently donated an additional 11 beds that provided for a family of four and several other veterans, including a bed for a veteran at the Volunteers of America’s Huot House in Saco, which provides transitional housing for up to 10 male and female veterans and is funded by a Veterans Administration grant. The new beds were obtained by Rotary in cooperation with Michael Lowes and Custom Fundraising Solutions.

The Rotary Club has also worked out a bus pass program to provide needed transportation to many southern Maine veterans. During the last year, the club provided 345 one-way trips for veterans throughout the region at a value of $600. The recent donation was for additional Zoom and Shuttlebus-Intercity passes at a value of $871, with $600 funded by the Rotary club and the rest donated by Shuttlebus-Zoom. These passes have been given to officials of the Veterans Administration who will determine how best to manage and distribute the passes.

At any given time, there are numerous homeless veterans in Maine suffering from lack of a place to live and other basic necessities. In 2011, emergency shelter was provided to 535 homeless Maine veterans across the state.

Club past-president Bob Flynn says, “We want to help address this serious problem for the patriotic men and women of Maine who served our country.” Non-Rotarians are encouraged to help. For more information, contact Flynn at [email protected] or VA Transitional Housing Liaison, Susan Whittington, at 623-8411 ext. 4344, or by email [email protected].

Shown at the Volunteers of America’s Huot House in Saco are, from left, Paul Skidgel, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and resident at Huot; Ken Darby, case manager at Huot; and Bob Flynn, past president of the South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club.

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