Resort facilities

Maine Veterans Homes says closure of Caribou and Machias facilities is ‘only way’

A nonprofit group that runs veterans’ homes in Maine said Tuesday it had no choice but to close two facilities despite pleas from state officials to keep them open.

Maine veterans homes in Machias and Caribou are scheduled to close this spring. Maine’s congressional delegation, Gov. Janet Mills and others said the closures would have dire consequences for veterans in the state.

But closing both homes is “the only way we have to better serve our veterans in the future,” Maine Veterans’ Homes spokeswoman Christine Henson said Tuesday. Henson said the organization has 640 beds in its homes and only cares for 384 veterans.

Maine Veterans’ Homes “cannot continue to sustain the extreme losses of keeping Machias and Caribou open without degrading the quality of care throughout the system,” Henson said. The organization is also concerned that the funding will not overcome the declining veteran population and workforce crisis it currently faces, she said.

The American Legion Department of Maine also called on Maine Veterans’ Homes to keep facilities open. He said in a letter that the closure would “affect Maine’s most vulnerable veteran populations.”