CARIBOU, Maine — The United Veterans of Maine has appointed Edward Schupbach as its new executive director.
The organization manages the Dahlgren Skidgel Farm of Hope for homeless veterans, based in Caribou.
Schupbach, U.S. Army field grade officer, retired, served 16 years in the Army and has served four years on the UVM board of directors. He said he wants to continue the mission of UVM, “veterans helping veterans.”
“There is a special bond among Veterans,” said the new director. “From the very beginning our primary goal was to serve Veterans and to assist those who have struggled to readjust to community life. The men and women who have offered the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms deserve the very best we can offer.”
The Dahlgren Skidgel Farm of Hope is located at 358 Washburn Street in Caribou. The facility features four duplex cottages including one family unit. According to Karen St. Peter, the fund raising coordinator for the shelter the facility has filled a major need for Veterans.
“Our shelter has been virtually full over the past year,” said St. Peter, who is also an Army veteran. “We have experienced a waiting list and as our center becomes more known throughout the state we anticipate an even greater need. We look forward to working with Ed and believe he will be a strong leader as he demonstrated during his military career.”
St. Peter said that the COVID 19 pandemic has made fund raising very challenging and she invites individuals and organizations to visit the center and consider a charitable donation.
“The community has been very generous to us over the past few years and we are very grateful for their support. This year has been difficult and we hope we can return to our regular fund raising program in 2021,” he said.
Schupbach officially became executive director on July 23. He pointed out that beyond the homeless services provided by the UVM the organization also assists with Veterans transportation needs and benefit information.
“Many veterans are not aware of the benefits they are entitled to for their military service. We work hard to acquaint our residents at the center with VA benefits and we have made a difference to many of them,” he said. “We hope to continue that work and we invite veterans with questions or who are struggling with homelessness or who are near homeless to contact us.”
Veterans who live at the shelter are asked to contribute what they can for rent and must accept a variety of regulations and policies aimed at helping to establish a safe and sustainable operation.
Schupbach and his wife, Catherine, live in Fort Fairfield and have seven children. He is a regular communicant at St. Denis Catholic Church.