Showing posts with label female homeless veterans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label female homeless veterans. Show all posts

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Army Reservist went from homeless to homeowner in Las Vegas

Once homeless, Las Vegas veteran gets 1st taste of homeownership

Las Vegas Review Journal
Briana Erickson
April 26, 2019

Martinez, who starts studying social work at UNLV in the fall, said her next step will be to help other veterans who might be in the same situation she was in.
She had the key, and now it was time for one more thing. The brand-new American flag, still bright and shiny and creased from packaging.

Carrying it to the outside of her new home near downtown Las Vegas, Ana Martinez attempted to erect the flag on the tan house with white finish. But she didn’t have the necessary tools.
Laughing, the 52-year-old veteran used packing tape to secure the metal plate to the wall. As the flag came up, so did the tears. And when the tape didn’t stick, Martinez held onto the flag tightly.

“A lot of people don’t make it back. … They just don’t have an opportunity to live their life and continue giving,” the Army veteran said through her tears. “It’s just a little emotional for me.”

It was the first thing she did Friday morning as a first-time homeowner.

She was determined to put the flag up and to start up the stereo in her living room.

Only two years earlier, she had been homeless, living in her red two-door Mitsubishi Eclipse and working as a chief warrant officer with the U.S. Army Reserve Center in Sloan.
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Suspected Drunk Driver Killed Female Iraq Homeless Veteran in Wheelchair

August 23, 2016

Elaine Heyl stopped by an outreach center in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood on Friday and gave photos and her family’s address in the South to one of the staffers there.

“She gave me two pictures … and she gave me her family’s address in South Carolina and said, ‘If I were to die at any point, this is where you send my information,'” Elvis Rosado, of Prevention Point Philadelphia recalled Monday.

Rosado never imagined he’d have to mail the package so soon.

Hours later, early Saturday morning, as Heyl sat in her wheelchair at Mascher Street and Lehigh Avenue — the corner where the woman, a homeless Iraq War veteran, was a permanent fixture for years — a man police say was driving drunk down Lehigh Avenue crashed into her.

Heyl, known as Lanie to most, died a short time later at the hospital. She was 37.

Rosado said he knew Heyl, an Air Force veteran who he said served in Iraq, from working at Prevention Point on Kensington Avenue, a center that provides a health clinic and other outreach services to people facing homelessness and addiction. He said she battled post-traumatic stress disorder and was never able to get the help she needed.

“She was trying really hard to get help, but unfortunately, the system is kind of slow, so she started to self-medicate,” Rosado said. “Unfortunately, self-medication turned to addiction.”
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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Female Homeless Veteran Adopted by Community

Middletown animal control officers cared for homeless veteran in life — and death
The Middletown Press
By Kathleen Schassler
POSTED: 06/28/16

Baboolal first met Chaffee about five years ago, when he found her in a city parking lot in a sleeping bag with two small dogs, Mister and Peanut, on a cold and snowy December eve. Chaffee would not part with her beloved dogs so she could not enter the city’s homeless shelter.
For 26 years, Charlotte Chafee worked as a registered nurse before suffering a debilitating heart attack that led to the loss of her job. Soon after, the U.S. Air Force veteran silently slid into homelessness.

Middletown Animal Control Officers Gail Petras and Sgt. Nick Baboolal went above and beyond with efforts to provide Chaffee with safety and security while she lived, and with a final resting place in the State Veterans’ Cemetery after her untimely death last month.

On Monday, a small group of local veterans and residents joined Petras and two staff members from the Department of Veterans Affairs for a military burial service for Chaffee. The honor detail performed a ceremony that included the folding and presenting of the American flag to the next of kin, a 21-gun salute and the playing of “Taps.”
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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Will Female Homeless Veteran in Australia Cause Real Change?

Female war veteran living in her car spurs Hastings village plan
Herald Sun
Kathryn Powley
and Paul Toohey
April 16, 2016

A FEMALE Victorian war veteran living out of her car in Frankston is one of the stories that has spurred a radical plan to house homeless veterans at campground village in Hastings.

Welfare agencies want more support for returned services people, saying some are living in tents in the bush, garages and on mates’ couches.

Mornington Peninsula-based welfare officer with Carry on Victoria Karl Williams said the woman was one of half a dozen veterans he had helped.

He will today join a protest on the steps of State Parliament in Spring St to call for a royal commission into the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs.

“She served in Afghanistan as a drone operator and was affected by post traumatic stress disorder,” he said.

She had run out of money and was sleeping in her car.

He helped get her into an apartment. She and other veterans had gone from being “top of the mountain” to thinking nobody cared, he said. There were former soldiers sleeping under one-man “hoochie” tarps in the bush.

Most of the homeless were unemployed suffering PTSD and some had tried suicide, Mr Williams said.
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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Las Vegas Pageant Warrior Women Fight For Homeless Female Veterans

Pageant contestants are ‘fully woman and fully warrior’ 
Las Vegas Sun
By Jeanne Brei, Special to The Sunday
Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015
The competition is “a place for us to be fully woman and fully warrior with great camaraderie with our fellow sisters-in-arms,” said competitor Kerri Brantley

Contestants in the Ms. Veteran America pageant take a stroll in downtown Las Vegas.
There are evening gowns, a talent competition, an interview question, a tiara and a sash — but don’t call Ms. Veteran America a beauty pageant. The judges don’t consider age, marital status or how a woman looks in a swimsuit when determining a winner.

These contestants all are active duty or military veterans using the competition to raise awareness about the challenges many women in the military face, including homelessness, post-traumatic stress disorder and sexual assault.

For instance, an estimated 55,000 female veterans are homeless, and female veterans are the fastest-growing homeless population in the United States.

The 25 finalists coming to Las Vegas for the Oct. 18 competition will be judged first on their military history and their advocacy for women in the military, then on their talent and interview answer. The pageant’s mission is to honor the contestants’ grace, poise and service, and raise money for Final Salute, a group that helps find housing for homeless female veterans and their children.
Money raised during this year’s pageant will pay for housing and prevention programs for female veterans, including financial assistance for utility bills and groceries. In four years, the Ms. Veteran America competition has helped Final Salute raise more than $1 million to combat homelessness among female veterans.
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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Finalist For Ms Veteran America Served in the Air Force

Military vet with Alma ties competes for Ms. Veteran America
The Morning Sun
July 26, 2015

Anne Kitchen grew up in Alma and is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force who was announced as a top 25 finalist for Ms. Veteran America 2015.

She competed in the national semi-finals back in May and is now competing for the crown on Oct. 18.

Kitchen began her military career in December of 2004, and thereafter served six years active duty in the United States Air Force as a meteorologist.

The main focus for Ms. Veteran America is to raise awareness and end homelessness among women veterans.

The competition highlights more than the strength, courage, and sacrifice of the nations military women, but also reminds people that these women are mothers, daughters, sisters and wives.
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Friday, March 7, 2014

Homeless veterans hope turned to nightmare

Homeless vets say program promising help was 'a nightmare'
KING 5 News
Posted on March 6, 2014

Kathie King is still adjusting to her whirlwind move from New Mexico to Oak Harbor -- a move that began last summer after she saw an ad on Craigslist. King said the ad intrigued her because it was titled, “Homes for Heroes, Homes for Veterans.”

King clicked on the ad, which took her to the Making a Difference Foundation website and its Homes for Veterans program. The website stated: “Our program provides safe and secure housing and counseling, financial management, credit repair, legal services, health and social services to veterans and their families as needed. If the veteran successfully completes our program they will be eligible to purchase the home in which they are living in or another home.”

“It all looked really good in the beginning; it really did,” said King, who had been living in an RV.

King said the Making a Difference Foundation program appeared to be offering her a needed lifeline. Founded by Ahndrea Blue, the nonprofit charity's goal is to help people with basic needs like food and housing, according its website. The foundation runs a food bank in Tacoma that won recognition for Blue in 2011 when she was selected as a Washington State Jefferson Award winner, which honors people who do extraordinary things to improve their communities.
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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Homeless veteran carries baby

Battling veterans' homelessness
Jennifer Lin
January 7, 2014

PHILADELPHIA - For Megan Bergbauer, her first years out of the Marine Corps were tough.

After serving three years at Camp Pendleton, near San Diego, Bergbauer, now 30, moved back to Ambler - about 16 miles north of Philadelphia - in 2010 with a young daughter, marriage problems and no job. "You go into the military and they pay for your housing, they pay for your food," said Bergbauer, a former field radio operator and mail clerk in the Marines. "Then you're out, and if you don't find a job, it's like, 'Uh-oh.' Then what?"

She stayed with relatives and sometimes slept in her car. Bad turned to worse. Bergbauer cycled in and out of shelters, even sleeping for two weeks in LOVE Park in the Center City neighborhood.

"It was a nightmare," Bergbauer said.

A national nightmare, as it turns out.

Each year, about 150,000 veterans become homeless - about one in 10 former military men and women, said Dennis Culhane, an expert on homelessness at the University of Pennsylvania.

Many are dealing with combat trauma, while others are struggling to find work with skills that do not necessarily translate into today's workforce, he said.
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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Women veterans navigate benefits, PTSD and homelessness

Women vets navigate benefits, PTSD, homelessness
First State House women vets advocacy day
Christine Lee 22 News State House Correspondent
Friday, 14 Jun 2013

BOSTON (WWLP) - When Fannie Houck was discharged from the navy in 1976, she survived a sexual assault and a helicopter incident that left her disabled and emotionally scarred.

“My PTSD just took over my life and I became homeless,” said Houck.

She applied for help at the Veterans Affairs Department, but navigating the maze of benefits and programs is difficult.

“In 1977, I tried to get services and was told you didn’t have programs like that for women… You reach out for help you don’t get the help… And I feel this is often where suicides come from.”
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Friday, March 15, 2013

Florida Allied Veterans arrests hit homeless veterans hard

Florida Gambling Arrests May Shut Veterans Shelter
Mar 15, 2013
Associated Press
by Russ Bynum and Kelli Kennedy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A former Army cook who fell on hard times, Debbie Bowman has been living at the Allied Veterans Center, a shelter for homeless veterans, since August.

Bowman stays in the barracks-style brick building -- formerly a state-run nursing home -- with 27 other vets. She received career counseling and took online courses, and is applying for a job as a 911 operator. But before Bowman can get back on her feet, the shelter may be forced to close its doors. The center was founded and almost entirely funded by the Allied Veterans of the World, the charity at the center of an illegal gambling investigation that's resulted in some 50 arrests and the resignation of Florida's lieutenant governor.

Authorities said the charity was a ruse that raked in $300 million from gambling at its 49 parlors across Florida over the last five years. Investigators said only about 2 percent of the money -- or nearly $6 million -- actually went to charities.

The Allied Veterans Center, which is independently operated despite its similar name, appeared to benefit the most.

"We still need a place to go and we still need a place to stay," said Bowman, 43, who served 12 years in the Army on active duty in Germany and later in the National Guard. "Don't throw us out just because of people making bad choices. We still need this place to be here."

Altogether, Allied Veterans of the World poured about $1.85 million into the shelter since 2011.
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Friday, February 8, 2013

Homeless, pregnant veteran finds support from community

Community comes together to support pregnant veteran
Homeless veteran gets assistance
Mark Christian

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A call for help from a homeless veteran turned into an outpouring of support. Dozens stepped up to help that veteran who's just two weeks away from giving birth.
The pregnant veteran served 12 years in the California National Guard with a tour in Iraq.

"We don't know if it's a boy or girl, we just know it's a baby who needs our help," said Ben Patten of Bakersfield Harley Davidson.

The baby will now come into this world with a roof over her head.

"A nine-month pregnant female veteran came into our office looking for assistance because she is homeless," said Deborah Johnson of the California Veterans Assistance Foundation.

California Veterans Assistance Foundation provided housing for the veteran and put the word out to the Kern County Veterans Collaborative that the woman also needed newborn supplies.
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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Extreme Makeover needs to make this right

Jubilee House struggles without VA money
Staff writer
By John Ramsey
Jul 21, 2012

Michelle Obama stepped off an oversized bus on Langdon Street last July and hugged a wide-eyed Barbara Marshall, then thanked her for helping the nation try to end homelessness.

With hundreds of people gathered along the street chanting the familiar "move that bus" refrain, the TV show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" revealed Jubilee House, a 7,200-square-foot duplex built to shelter homeless women veterans.

It seemed no expense was spared on the house, from dazzling custom art to a soundproof playroom and a backyard greenhouse with a vacuum tube for shooting vegetables directly into one of the home's two kitchens.

But the day after the bus was moved, Jubilee House failed a Veterans Affairs safety inspection because it lacked automatic sprinklers, a controversial provision in nationally recommended standards.

The failed inspection meant Marshall could not receive up to $1,200 a month from the VA for every homeless veteran she took in, money similar organizations say they need to survive.

Jubilee House could still legally open. It met state and local building codes, which don't require indoor sprinklers for single-family homes and duplexes. But without the VA money, Marshall has struggled to keep the lights on during a tough first year with the new house.

The conversation boiled down to two main questions: Does Jubilee House need sprinklers to receive a VA contract? And was "Extreme Makeover" - which VA emails say was notified of the requirement before construction and after - going to install them?
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Thursday, April 26, 2012

More Soldiers Face Homeless Homecomings Due To Economy, PTSD

More Soldiers Face Homeless Homecomings Due To Economy, PTSD
By Sarah Pusateri

When Stacie King finished up 10 years of service in the United States Navy, she was assured by her Navy TAP class instructor – a class that helps soldiers transition into civilian life and find jobs – that she would be a hot commodity for many employers.

“They were just like, ‘everyone wants to hire a veteran,’” recalls King. “Everyone wants to hire a veteran. You’re so marketable!”

King says for her, the exact opposite was true. She applied for dozens of jobs but got no response.

Finally, the single mother of three did manage to land a job at McDonald’s but quickly realized she wasn’t going to be making enough money to support her family. She packed up her children and belongings and moved to Florida to live with her brother’s family. Several months later, she still hadn’t found a job.

“I was on the brink. I was technically considered homeless because I was doubled up with my family, but even at that point, it wasn’t good. It wasn’t a good situation.”

She’s not alone. King’s family is among hundreds in Hillsborough County experiencing the threat of homelessness.

“With the current troop draw downs, we’re seeing an increase in request for services,” says Sara Romeo the Executive Director of Tampa Crossroads. “We have been really overwhelmed by the needs in the community.”
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Sunday, April 8, 2012

More women vets are homeless, but housing scarce

More women vets are homeless, but housing scarce
Sunday, April 08, 2012
(AP) — Misha McLamb helped keep fighter jets flying during a military career that took her halfway around the world to the Persian Gulf. But back home, the Navy aircraft specialist is barely getting by after a series of blows that undid her settled life.

She was laid off from work last year and lost custody of her daughter. She's grappled with alcohol abuse, a carry-over from heavy-drinking Navy days. She spent nights in her car before a friend's boyfriend wrecked it, moving later to a homeless shelter where the insulin needles she needs for her diabetes were stolen.

She now lives in transitional housing for homeless veterans — except the government recently advised occupants to leave because of unsafe building conditions.

"I wasn't a loser," McLamb, 32, says. "Everybody who's homeless doesn't necessarily have to have something very mentally wrong with them. Some people just have bad circumstances with no resources."

Once primarily male veteran problems, homelessness and economic struggles are escalating among female veterans, whose numbers have grown during the past decade of U.S. wars while resources for them haven't kept up. The population of female veterans without permanent shelter has more than doubled in the last half-dozen years and may continue climbing now that the Iraq war has ended, sending women home with the same stresses as their male counterparts — plus some gender-specific ones that make them more susceptible to homelessness.

The problem, a hurdle to the Obama administration's stated goal of ending veterans' homelessness by 2015, is exacerbated by a shortage of temporary housing specifically designed to be safe and welcoming to women or mothers with children. The spike comes even as the overall homeless veteran population has gone down, dropping by nearly 12 percent to about 67,500 between January 2010 and January 2011, officials say.

"It can't get any worse," McLamb says matter-of-factly, "'cause I've already been through hell."

Veterans' homelessness, the subject of a March congressional hearing, has received fresh attention amid government reports documenting the numbers and identifying widespread flaws in buildings that shelter veterans.

"I think it's very clear that women veterans in particular lack the services they need," Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chairwoman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, said in an interview.
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Monday, January 23, 2012

Homelessness rising among female vets

GAO: Homelessness rising among female vets
By Andrew Tilghman - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Jan 23, 2012 17:18:33 EST
The number of homeless veteran females more than doubled between 2006 and 2010, according to estimates in a recent government report.

Citing “limited” data from the Veterans Affairs Department, the Government Accountability Office issued a report Monday suggesting that the number of homeless female veterans rose to more than 3,300 in 2010, up from less than 1,400 in 2006.

The data is flawed because no government agencies consistently track homelessness among female veterans, which raises questions about the VA’s ability to help those women.
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Friday, December 30, 2011

Female vets talk joblessness, homelessness

Female vets talk joblessness, homelessness

(CBS News) Tens of thousands of troops are leaving military service and entering an often bleak job market. For women with families, it's especially difficult to find work and housing.

CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller traveled to Fayetteville, N.C., to visit with some female veterans who are looking for help to change their lives.

Shawn McLean is one of those veterans. She served in the Army for four years as a water treatment specialist. She told Miller, if she had to do her military service all over again, she would, because she "loved it."

But she's had no luck finding a full-time job since her discharge in 2008.

"I don't think when you get out, they actually point you in the right direction," McLean said.

"They give you a bunch of briefings, but they don't sit down (and say,) 'What is your next step?'"

Ruth Donaldson served in the Army for 10 years.

"I went to a place that I thought could give me a head start in life," Donaldson said.

Both McLean and Donaldson had been homeless -- living at a shelter for female veterans near Fort Bragg. It's called The Jubilee House, and was started by former Navy Chaplain Barbara Marshall.
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

For many returning women vets, fight not yet over

For many returning women vets, fight not yet over
The Tampa Tribune
Published: November 29, 2011
Last month, Josefina Reyes went to work for Tampa Bay Crossroads, a rehabilitation and counseling center that came into being in 1977, the year she was born.
Josefina Reyes was a homeless veteran until she found help and a new career with Tampa Bay Crossroads. Now she counsels women with more stress than she had.
Reyes serves as an intake counselor for women veterans, most of them homeless or headed that way, and helps assess their problems and begin to find solutions.

For Reyes, who served three years with the Army, leaving as a corporal in 1999, this is familiar territory.

Until recently, she, too, was homeless, unable to translate her military experience as a truck driver and vehicle fueler into the civilian world.

Now, instead of being on the receiving end of counseling, Reyes helps guide women out of the downward spiral.

There's no shortage of need.

There are about 300 homeless women veterans in Hillsborough County, according to Sara Romeo, chief executive officer of Tampa Bay Crossroads.
read more here

Friday, September 9, 2011

Michelle Obama helps build home for homeless women veterans

In North Carolina, under a blazing sun, the First Lady lent a hand to crew and volunteers building "Steps N Stages Jubilee House," a boarding home for homeless women veterans.

Her visit was filmed for an episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" that drew a huge crowd early in the day, hundred of fans hoping to see Michelle Obama in person. For some of these fans, the wait was overwhelming. The Times Union reports "the early afternoon heat and excitement got the best of some and a handful of people fainted, requiring the care of emergency medical crews."

But for the most part, the event was a success, if a sweltering hot one. Obama took a tour of the project with Barbara Marshall, herself a 15-year Navy veteran who allowed her own home to be demolished to make room for the boarding house, playhouse, greenhouse, and resource center-- all intended to function as shelter for women veterans. Several families will be able to live in the new building.
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Sunday, August 14, 2011

The number of homeless female veterans outpaces help

Invisible women: The number of homeless female veterans outpaces help
Staff photo by Cindy Burnham

Mariel Marrero, who spent five years in the Army, is among a growing number of female veterans who struggle with homelessness.
By Drew Brooks
Staff writer

For a week in July, Mariel Marrero and her two children visited the Cumberland County Headquarters Library every day.

Between 7:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Marrero, 30, and her children - ages 10 and 12 - sought out the library not for its books, but for its air conditioning. Their only alternative, Marrero said, was to stay in parks in nearly 100-degree heat.

At night, Marrero and her children slept at the Salvation Army shelter on Alexander Street.

"You always hear about the men," Marrero said of homeless veterans. "But we're out there, too. People just don't see us."

Marrero is one of about 90 female veterans who are homeless in the Fayetteville area, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

She's also part of a growing trend.
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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Homeless Army Veteran Gets Help After Story Airs On WUSA 9

Homeless Army Veteran Gets Help After Story Airs On WUSA 9
7:09 PM, Aug 5, 2011
Written by
Lindsey Mastis

GREENBELT, Md. (WUSA) -- Desiree Curtis, 50, is a homeless veteran determined to get back on her feet. But a surgery she desperately needs is the reason she's being kept out of one transitional housing program.

9 NEWS NOW's Lindsey Mastis first learned about this story on Facebook.

The Army Veteran left her job last October. Her savings ran out, and she became homeless in June.

Curtis says she found transitional housing that helps her with her job search at Perry Point, located North of Baltimore. But there's a problem.

"In the midst of my job search, that's when I found out I have to have two surgeries," she said.

Doctors discovered she has fibroid tumors. Curtis needs to undergo a hysterectomy in a month.

"It takes four to six weeks to recover," she said.

According to the VA Maryland Health Care System, Curtis cannot move into the program at Perry Point because "Veterans... must not need acute psychiatric or medical care."
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Homeless Army Veteran Gets Help After Story Airs On WUSA 9