Three years ago the Garry Owen Motorcycle Club was formed by veterans to help veterans.
The group recently bought an old farm house and seven acres of land in Montville to further its cause in a big way.
“This is really a grass roots effort for these people,” said the current Treasurer and one of the founding members of the Garry Owen Motorcycle Club Warren Ard. “We’re trying to accomplish something that’s never been done before in the United States
The plan is for a shelter for homeless veterans, and not just a spot for them to spend the night.
The goal, according to the President of the Garry Owen House group Alex Allmayer-Beck, is to help the vets reestablish their lives, and get back on their feet. “This motorcycle club is all composed of a group of veterans, and veterans care for veterans, we’re not going to leave our people behind we never did when we were in the service and we just don’t plan to start. Actually I think we’re tired of seeing homeless vets. there’s no reason for our veterans to be homeless and we’ve got a lot of ‘em.”
The members of the club want to demolish the house that currently sits on the land, and then build a 120 by 80 foot house with dining room, meeting room, office space, a kitchen area and 24 beds.
Heather Carle, Secretary for Garry Owen House 02
“This is a non profit and you do have to be concerned about the financial part of it you do have to, and how you’re going to manage it, and so there’s a lot that has to go into that thought process” said the Secretary for the Garry Owen House, Heather Carle. “And I think 24 beds is manageable, for this area and financially, and what they have for resources.”
Allmayer-Beck says veterans don’t want a hand out, and that’s not what this shelter will be, they plan to farm some of the seven acres, and get the veterans back in to the workforce. “They need to be in a place where they have some semblance of stability where people can treat them like human beings and they can get back into the work force, slowly, we can work with the VA and bring in counseling services and so forth, and this is basically what we need, and I don’t think there is anything in this country that is set up that way.”
They would also like to eventually use this same model to expand around the country said Ard. “We would like to have the club expand into other states and in order to do that, that state has to have a homeless veterans center too just like we’re doing. if you want a chapter in that state, you’re going to have to get a house to help our vets.”
They expect it will cost at least three quarters of a million dollars, and they have a fund raising account with Bangor Savings Bank, you can go into any branch and donate to the Garry Owen House.