Homeless Veterans Come Home - VA Maine Healthcare System
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VA Maine Healthcare System


Homeless Veterans Come Home

Jesse Mcgahuey opens the door to his new home

Jesse Mcgahuey opens the door to his new home

By Megan Kon
Friday, August 31, 2018
Arthur Dickenson – So thankful to be home

It’s finally here – the day Arthur gets to move into his new home; his very own, “Cabin in the Woods.” He is one of 21 Veterans who’ve struggled with homelessness to now say they have a place to call home.

“I’m amazed by all of this. I came in and I had to check out all the drawers – it’s like a treasure hunt,” Arthur said. “I can’t thank everybody enough for what they’ve done for me and my fellow Veterans. I’m so happy.”

Every day for the last two months, Arthur has been waiting for this moment. He recently divorced from his wife and was staying in a homeless shelter when this opportunity opened-up. He was blown away by seeing the curtain up in the shower as he came into the bathroom. Plus, he sees the benefit of being so close to the Togus medical center.

“There is no excuse to not use the services at the VA,” Arthur said.

Jesse Mcgahuey – Excited at all the possibilities

Jesse, a 41-year-old Veteran and father of two, couldn’t wait to step into his cabin.

“To have our own space, to be able to walk over to the VA – now I can start the Whole Health types of programs, things like Mindfulness, I can join a group, visit with my primary care doctor or my psychiatrist.”

Jesse is a recovering opioid addict who suffers from non-combat PTSD. He sustained two traumatic brain injuries from his tour in the military. His family has been living in Maine for four years but because Maine is so rural, access to care has not been easy.

“Now, Jesse can get consistent treatment focused on the areas he really needs, like mental health. He can now do a walk-in without an appointment or get involved, even helping with the garden effort,” says his wife, Shenna Mcgahuey. “Maine is rural and isolated. Camaraderie is missing. This will be that feeling of brotherhood that he’s been missing in rural Maine.”

Everett Harbrook – Speechlessly blissful

Everett will blow out his candles next month on his 70th birthday, knowing that he finally has a reason to celebrate. 

“This is an awesome development in my life. I’m just overwhelmed,” Everett said after telling staff he’ll have his very own bachelor pad.

Cabin in the Woods Dedication Ceremony

If you would like to attend the Cabin in the Woods Dedication Ceremony, please come to the VA Maine Healthcare System (Togus Campus) on Friday, September 21, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. For more information about Cabin in the Woods, please visit: www.voanne.org.


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