NEWBURGH, Ind. (WEHT) – Veteran homelessness is an issue across the entire nation, including here in the Tristate. But as one group aims to help homeless veterans find a place to live, another is assisting in furnishing their new homes. In November of 2021, Marme Dotts of American Legion Post 44 in Newburgh began holding meetings to discuss what could be done to help veterans in her community.

“We started with paper towels and from there went on to household cleaners, and then we stepped out and did cleaners and brushes, they didn’t all have bathroom brushes,” says Dotts. The focus then shifted to donating toiletry items for the homeless veterans at Lucas Place II Apartments in Evansville. Items like toothpaste, toothbrushes, and bath towels were needed most, and lately Dotts has been asking for laundry-related items to be donated next. Post 44 is in the midst of a one year donation commitment that will run through the end of 2022.

“I can’t express how much pride I have with doing what we’ve done with them,” says Dotts.

Army veteran Adam Wildt is a resident of Lucas Place. He recalls being in a low place before arriving at Lucas Place, stating the staff with Lucas Place and Echo Housing in Evansville helped him regain his footing. Now, he is equally thankful for the donations he is receiving from the American Legion in Newburgh.

“It means a lot,” says Wildt. “I’m a disabled veteran. I’m on a limited income, so any help, I just can’t thank the people enough”

Patrick Moran with Echo Housing says many of the residents at Lucas Place were at a loss for words when the donations began.

“A very reliable, consistent partner we’ve worked with has been the American Legion. They’ve provided clothes, food, and most importantly their time,” explains Moran.

“Thinking of us when they’ve got a million different things to worry about, their own families and friends,” adds Wildt.

Wildt also says no matter the size of the items donated, he and his fellow veteran residents are grateful for any assistance they have received. Dotts and the American Legion say if anyone is interested in contributing to the donations, they can drop off their items at the Post 44, located near the corner of State Street and Sharon Road in Newburgh.