Millinocket Students visit Veterans Community in Chelsea

Millinocket eight graders visit the Cabin in the Woods Veteran Community in Chelsea
Millinocket eight graders visit the Cabin in the Woods Veteran Community in Chelsea(Restricted)
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 10:35 PM EDT
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CHELSEA, Maine (WABI) - A school project brought a group of eight graders from Millinocket Middle School on a three hours journey to visit the Cabin in the Wood’s Veterans Community in Chelsea.

“The biggest thing that would make me very happy is if this could go state or Country wide,” Ben Waite, student at Millinocket said.

That’s part of the reason the students choose to visit the Veterans Community out of a long list of social issue project ideas they came up with.

“It was important for us to see how this whole establishment was built,” Waite said.

They said it was also important to meet some of the Veterans who live on the 11 acres of property, built in 2018 to help combat the homeless issues facing Veterans. It currently houses 20 veterans in the 21-cabin community surrounded by nature. Joseph Moore is one of them.

Like many Veterans who run into issues of homelessness for various reasons, Moore said he was excited when he got the call of an available unit after being on the waiting list.

“I remember being a child and seeing someone who are homeless,” Michael Merrill, program director of Volunteers of America recalls. “There was this idea that they were lazy and don’t want to give back to the community.’”

Merrill says that’s not the case.

“They are one of the hardest working community I have worked with,” he said.

The student’s goal is to bring awareness to what they call an invisible issue. They hope to see more of these communities so that the people that serve have a place to call home.

“There is a misconception that young people are self-absorbed, this goes to disprove that,” Merrill said.

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