Fundraiser to benefit homeless veterans facility

MONTVILLE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A number of Waldo County veterans are trying to combat homelessness, especially for their own.

Vietnam veteran Alex Allmayer-Beck is trying to raise $750,000 to build a homeless shelter for veterans. It's called the Garry Owen House, and it will be located in Montville. Right now, it's just a sign and a trailer on the property, but if Allmayer-Beck can make his dream come true, it will be a place for homeless veterans to call their home.

"This will help them get back in work mode and so forth. It's going to be a peer relationship. It's going to be veterans with veterans. There's going to be none of this, come in at 4:00 in the afternoon and get out at 8:00 in the morning. You stay there as long as you need to stay there," he said.

Since the homeless shelter is in a rural area, the goal is also for the Garry Owen House to provide veterans with a number of services all under one roof like job training and counseling.

"It's going to replicate the experience that they had in combat. They're going to have fellow veterans with them, they're going to have somebody watching their back, they'll be able to form close relationships and when you do that, that's when you start succeeding. The approach is what veterans need because this is being thought of by veterans, run by veterans, so it's going to work," said Allmayer-Beck.

While staying at the homeless shelter, veterans are going to be expected to work, whether it's at the laundry facility, in the kitchen or doing grounds work.

"You got to get these people back in work mode and get them to feel good about themselves," he said.

Three-quarters of a million dollars needs to be raised to build this one-story, 24-bed home. The veterans will not take any money from the federal government or from the state. Allmayer-Beck said it will be a lot of work to raise that amount of money, but the support he has received makes it worth it.

"(Veterans) think it's an absolutely unbelievably good idea. It's totally different and out of the box. The possibilities are endless and I'm really excited about it. It's something I've always wanted to do," he said.

A fundraiser is being held Saturday night to help pay for the costs. It will be held at the American Legion Hall in Belfast from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. There will be food, live music and raffles.


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