As we’ve talked about before on the blog, many of the women who come to Calvary are survivors of past trauma and abuse. And post traumatic stress disorder, a common illness for veterans, is something that we deal with a lot at Calvary. Overall, in the past few years we’ve had over a dozen homeless female veterans come through Calvary’s doors, and the numbers are only increasing.
This past weekend many of us barbecued, watched fireworks, and celebrated with friends and family. The 4th of July is a holiday to celebrate the birth of our nation, as well as to be thankful and grateful to those who have served our country. Unfortunately, veterans, both male and female, are at particular risk for homelessness. And there is an overrepresentation of women veterans among those women who are homeless.
In an article in the American Forces Press Services, Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis said, “Millions of hard-working, responsible families are at risk of losing their homes as a result of job losses, reductions in working hours and lower wages, and probably no other segment of our population is more vulnerable to homelessness than our veterans, and more recently and importantly, female veterans.”
The American Forces Press Services reported last week that the Department of Labor will award $5 million in grants to help homeless female veterans and veterans with families address these problems of unemployment and underemployment. This money will go to 26 agencies for a variety of services that will provide education, training and job placement.
As more and more women join the service, and are returning home and facing homelessness, it is becoming even more important to care for these women and help provide them the services that they need to regain independence. At Calvary we will continue to do our part!
For more stats and information on veteran homelessness check out the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.