MILBRIDGE — In 2017, the Maine Homeless Veterans Action Committee helped to house 192 veterans. Yet that same year, 278 veterans became homeless.
In 2019, though, Downeast Community Partners (DCP) is constructing apartments to ensure that at least two homeless veterans will find a place to live.
“These apartments will be specifically for homeless veterans,” said Executive Director Mark Green. “There are a number of folks in that situation in this region. Really, it’s very difficult for anyone to find low-income housing in a place like this.”
The two apartments are being built in Milbridge, and are expected to be completed in January 2019. Construction is taking place behind what has been the offices of Mano en Mano since 2012.
“Parts of that building were very old, dating back to the late 1800s,” Green said. “And eventually there were so many structural problems that it wasn’t worth renovating.”
DCP then applied for a grant through the Maine State Housing Authority. The $250,000 grant allowed DCP to tear down the older half of the building, renovate the offices of Mano en Mano and build a new addition featuring the two apartments.
“They’re beautiful apartments,” Green said. “Single bedroom, propane heat, washer and dryer inside.”
Once construction is complete, DCP will work with homeless and veterans outreach groups to find eligible tenants in Hancock and Washington counties.
“I think Milbridge is really ideal for this because everything is right there in town,” Green said. “We envision them being able to walk to the grocery story, to the library or to the park.”