Veteran Housing Landscaped by Volunteers

Published: Oct. 5, 2018 at 5:05 PM EDT
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Two years ago, the Home Depot Foundation donated $225,000 toward the construction of 21 cabins on the campus of VA Maine Healthcare Systems-Togus to house homeless veterans.

"And the last one was occupied yesterday." says Bruce Calmes, store manager of the North Windham Home Depot and Community Captain for District 176.

Now volunteers from Home Depots across the state have flooded the site to provide the finishing touches.

"We were able to secure another 24,000 dollars for the beautification project." says Calmes.

The landscaping is the latest step for Cabin in the Woods, the result of over ten years of planning and work by the Volunteers of America, the Housing Authority and the VA.

"So it's just been a team effort. It's really incredible." says Tyra Parker, Vice President of Program Operations for Volunteers of America. "It's really powerful to watch it happen."

"Close to 200 trees." says Calmes. "Perennials and shrubs on top of that all along the property to help give it more of a community feel."

"Well when I first came in, it was like a big open field and since they've been working here we've got nice trees here, shrubbery." says Arthur Dickinson, a veteran of the Navy and a resident at Cabin in the Woods since August. "Feels a lot more like home now."

Megan Kon, Public Relations Officer for the VA Maine Healthcare system, says. "Not only do the trees and the beautification, the landscaping and the cabins themselves offer a healing environment, but just being near their fellow veteran in arms does wonders for their social interaction and healing process."

As these trees and shrubs grow, it will serve as a reminder of the dedication of this community to help those who served our country.