Homeless Veteran Women are less likely to seek help than other homeless veterans!
Homeless veteran women deserve our help
Homeless veteran women are the fastest-growing segment of the homeless veteran population (https://www.military.com/militaryadvantage/2018/03/28/female-veterans-are-fastest-growing-segment-homeless-veterans.html – 28 Mar 18 – Jim Absher – Military.com).
During my 25 years of service, I had the honor to serve with many great soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen – both men and women. It tears me up inside to see even one veteran homeless and living on the street. In my opinion this is beyond not right!
The care of our service men and women has been “sketchy” at best for some time. We used to take care of our own. However, over the years that has changed. While a few improvements have occurred, they are not nearly enough. These men and women gave of themselves when they did not have to in order to help secure our way of life. Their personal reasons for serving is immaterial. They were all part of the whole to help “Make America Great.”
The National Coalition for the Homeless website) states there are between 131,000 to 200,000 homeless veterans in America on any given night. That is 24 percent of the total homeless population (552,742). Here is an excerpt from their webpage (see link above). (http://nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/veterans.html
“Three times that many veterans are struggling with excessive rent burdens and thus at increased risk of homelessness. Further, there is concern about the future. Women veterans and those with disabilities including post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury are more likely to become homeless, and a higher percentage of veterans returning from the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have these characteristics.”
In the 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment sent to Congress it state, “On a single night in January 2017, just more than 40,000 veterans were experiencing homelessness. A majority (62%) were staying in emergency shelters or traditional housing programs.” Excluding the issue, I have with the wording of that statement “just”, the “majority” are still “homeless”, they “just” were not “on the street”. The definition of “homeless” means someone not staying in an “approved” shelter (i.e. sleeping on the street). To me, that is still not “okay”!
I have no qualm with shelters who provide overnight lodging and food for any of our homeless. I am glad they do. However, to me that is like sticking a band-aid on a sucking chest wound. It is not really going to help the real problem. Our veterans need some support, so they can get back on their feet and become self-reliant again.
Many reports and articles state many veterans (women most of all) do not seek help are not “counted” in these estimates (“statistics”). The reason for this is the value of self-reliance that was honed during their time in service. This prevents many from seeking help.
In addition to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brian Injury (TBI), many homeless women veterans were victims of military sexual trauma. They feel resentment and distrust towards the military and Veteran Affairs.
Some homeless veteran women have children. They too, have the “self-reliant” value, but they are also afraid they will lose their children, if they admit they need help. Therefore, they do not seek assistance. They feel that if they seek help they will be labeled, “Unfit”, and the government will take away their children.
NCIS on CBS aired a show, “One Step Forward” (Season 15, Episode 21 – http://ew.com/recap/ncis-season-15-episode-21/ on 1 May 2018 (recapped by Sara Netzley for Entertainment). This episode illustrated, very well, (in my opinion) the challenges and struggles women veterans have dealing with homelessness and their children, while dealing injuries they sustained while in the military. In this particular episode, the women veteran had a child and suffered from a traumatic brain injury.
To that end, I have started the GLS Veterans Home. The mission of the GLS Veterans Home is to provide a safe and supportive environment for homeless and transitioning veterans. Our mission is to assist our veterans while they recover from any trauma they may have experienced and return to a “normal” life.
When our veterans first arrive, we welcome them Home!
Veterans who require it will be provided with drug/alcohol rehabilitation, as well as, medical, psychological help for issues such as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury, etc. Everyone of them will be treated with the respect and honor due to them.
GLS Veterans Home will work with Veteran Affairs and Disabled American Veterans and other groups and organizations to get our veterans any medical, educational, or disability benefits they may be entitled.
Your generous donation aids in helping our homeless veterans get the assistance they deserve. With your donation we will be able to get our veterans off the streets, no matter where in the world they are, and keep them off the streets. The donations we collect enables us to get our veterans into a safe and secure home. Not just a “stop over station” for a night that puts them back on the street the next morning. The donations we receive will help the veterans get back on their feet and release them from the demons of war. Once our veterans are on their feet, we will help them secure a job and help give them stability again. The stability and freedom they earned as part of our military family.
What do you receive for your wonderful donation? You will have the satisfaction of being a tremendous part in helping our service men and women when they needed it most. Nothing else can provide the heartfelt warmth personal satisfaction that comes from helping those in need. Especially when they are “one of our own”.
How can you help? You can help our veterans by donating to the GLS Veterans Home GoFundMe site. To donate click the GoFundMe link or copy the link and paste it in your browser, and then select the “Donate Now” button.
If you prefer you can Contact Us directly.
It tears me up inside knowing my fellow sisters (and brothers)-in-arms are going hungry, without shelter, without support! Please…help me end!
No matter how large or small, your donation will make a tremendous difference in the lives of our military men and women. Knowing you were there when our veterans needed you will give you a feeling that cannot be found anywhere. I ask you please donate now so together we can get our great veterans off the streets and on the road to a better and more productive life.
Thank you and bless you
Guy L Snodgrass
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What about those who claim to be “veterans”, but are not (e.g. “Stolen Valor”)?
A: GLS Veterans Home is for homeless or transitioning veterans. This will be confirmed by securing a DD-214 for veteran. If the veteran does not have a DD-214 we will request one. If someone falsely claims to be a veteran, we will have to move them to another homeless shelter. Eventually, we hope to be able to help everyone who is homeless. However, at this time, we will not be able to do so due to funding. If they are not a veteran, they will not be allowed to stay. Anyone who falsely claims to be a veteran will be permanently banned from our home. Integrity is a trait that must be present to be able to help each other.
Q: What is the priority of homeless/transitioning veterans?
A: Currently priority will be veterans (and families) who are homeless. Transitioning veterans will be accepted as space permits. We will work with various organizations to help prevent a transitioning veteran from becoming homeless. We will never leave a veteran alone.
Q: Do the veterans have to be in Kentucky to get a place?
A: No. We will travel to or make travel arrangements for the veteran to get to our home. We will be working with various social services, other outreach services, military agencies, and veteran agencies to locate and bring our veterans home.
Q: How long will a veteran be allowed to stay at GLS Veterans Home?
A: Our veterans will stay as long as they need in order to get their feet back under them. GLS Veterans home is so named because it is intended to be a “home“, not a “shelter”. Too often we have seen “band-aids” stuck on a “sucking chest wound”. This is not one of those times. Our veterans deserve the opportunity to have a decent life and we intend to see they get the chance. We will take care of own.