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HAC Featured on Team Depot Facebook Page to Raise Funds for Rural Veterans

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is honored to be one of nine organizations chosen as Service Ambassadors for Team Depot and The Home Depot Foundation’s “Celebration of Service.” This effort runs through November 11, 2015.

The Team Depot Facebook page has published HAC’s spotlight post.

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Likes, comments and shares of these spotlight posts will also equal $1 toward the $1 million goal. Mark your calendar for the HAC’s spotlight post will be published onMonday, September 21!

About HAC’s participation in the Celebration of Service

HAC will be working to raise funds for three grass-roots organizations in rural areas and partnering with Team Depot volunteers to improve housing conditions for aging and service-connected disabled veterans. These are veterans like Ben Mitchell, a cook in the Korean war. With HAC and Home Depot support Western Maine Community Action, one of the local partners, was able to complete an emergency replacement on his septic system to ensure his large family could remain in their home safely. Ben is featured in the Team Depot Spotlight post.

Help HAC raise funds for rural veterans housing

The Housing Assistance Council is proud to be one of ten organizations selected as Service Ambassadors (SA) for THDF’s Celebration of Service (COS) campaign. The campaign begins on Thursday, September 10 and ends on Wednesday, November 11, Veterans Day. Team Depot has pledged to donate up to $1 million dollars to assist elderly veterans and veterans with service-connected disabilities with much needed home repairs and improvements.

HAC has identified three rural groups as our partners for this effort. They are Community Action Network (TN), CDC of Brownsville (TX), and Western Maine Community Action Agency (ME). The groups will be asked to partner with Team Depot on a local build, and promote COS through use of the hashtag #ServiceSelfie on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Every time the #ServiceSelfie is liked or shared on Twitter or Instagram, Team Depot will donate $1 to improve veterans housing aacross the country. Team Depot will also donate $1 for every Like, Comment or Share of special Service Ambassador spotlight posts which will be published regularly during the campaign.

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Share your #Service Selfie Follow Team Depot on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to participate in Celebration of Service.

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"I've lived here my whole life"

Leslie Robbins, Jr.

Rural Voices - Fall 2014This story appears in the Fall 2014 issue of Rural VoicesFor over 70 years, Leslie Robbins, Jr. proudly handled his home and affairs without outside assistance. As a veteran of the United States Army, he was prepared to serve his country in the Korean War, but was injured in a training exercise just weeks before deployment. An unexpected landmine detonation left him hospitalized for four months. Those injuries still bother him to this day.

“Up here in Maine, you go to work right out of diapers and you work all your life.”

After being released from the hospital, he made his way back to his native Western Maine and started working as a truck driver while growing his family. Leslie was no stranger to hard work. “Up here in Maine,” he said, “you go to work right out of diapers and you work all your life.” The job kept him away from his wife and children, as he traveled to 48 states and Canada, but it was good work for someone who “didn’t have much education.”

Unfortunately, when Leslie reached out to the local Veterans Affairs office (VA) for assistance with his home, he was told that his records had been destroyed in a fire and he could not qualify for any programs. Despite this setback, Leslie managed to build his own home for his family and watch his three children grow up and move out on their own. That home served him well throughout his life, but as he aged and moved into retirement, his home aged too and began to need repairs.

Leslie Robbins, Jr.Leslie Robbins, Jr. outside his home in Western Maine

With only Social Security Income to depend on, Leslie was unable to afford the necessary repairs on his home. That is until he came in contact with Western Maine Community Action (WMCA). WMCA helped Leslie secure the necessary financing through a combination of funding from the Housing Assistance Council and the U.S. Department of Energy Weatherization Assistance Program.

With repairs and renovations from WMCA, Leslie now has a new front-entry staircase, new electrical system, a repaired chimney, and his home has been weatherized to better deal with the cold winters in Maine. He says he is saving money on his energy bills and they helped “keep my buns warm in the winter.” Because of WMCA, Leslie is able to age in place, in the same place he has called home for his entire life.

Western Maine Community Action (WMCA): is a social service agency that has been providing services for over 45 years to people living in the western mountain region of Maine. The organization is dedicated to the principle that poverty should not be a permanent condition of people’s lives.

Congress Agrees: Collaborative, Comprehensive Care Needed For Rural Vets

by Eric Oberdorfer

DSC_0019Rural America has a strong history of protecting our country. In fact, as highlighted in a recent report on rural veterans, veterans are more prevalent in rural America, comprising 11.4 percent of the rural population compared to 9.6 percent of the nation overall. However, providing needed services to veterans in rural America can often be more challenging due to the spread out nature of rural areas. These challenges were discussed in depth at a recent symposium held at the US Capitol.

Attended by Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, each member of Congress noted the responsibility we share to ensure the well-being of our veterans, regardless of where they may live. It was encouraging to hear elected members of Congress discuss and acknowledge the challenges that exist in providing services to veterans in rural America.

Read the complete blog post at Rooflines.

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