BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Mentoring and Housing Assistance Will Put Women Veterans on Road to Success

Posted by YWM on February 23, 2012

BPW Foundation and Final Salute Partner to Help Homeless Women Veterans

Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation today announced that Final Salute Inc, a Virginia based organization successfully meeting the unique needs of DC Metro Area homeless female veterans and their families, has been designated a Community Partner in Joining Forces for Women Veterans and Military Spouses Mentoring Plus®.

“BPW Foundation’s Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® will fill a critical void by matching mentors with homeless women veterans currently receiving housing assistance and services from Final Salute.  Working together, Final Salute and Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® will help these brave women who have returned from military service to face employment challenges that have forced them and their families into homelessness move toward self-sufficiency by finding civilian careers” said BPW Foundation CEO Deborah L. Frett.

There are an estimated 13,000 homeless women veterans in the United States, over half of whom are single mothers. According to HUD and VA statistics, women veterans are significantly more likely to become homeless than their male counterparts. Women veterans are four times more likely to become homeless than non-military women.

“Given the sacrifices they and their families have made, it is unacceptable for any woman veteran to be homeless and most Americans are not even aware that a homeless woman veteran population even exists,” said Final Salute Inc. President and Founder Jas Boothe.  “We believe in giving women veterans the respect due them and working alongside these women to facilitate their path to independence.”

Studies have shown that many factors can lead to homelessness for woman veterans, including unemployment, unawareness, and/or unavailability of veteran’s benefits, legal issues, military sexual trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, service disabilities, divorce/separation, domestic violence, lack of family or social support networks, and substance abuse.

“Through Final Salute’s Housing Outreach Mentorship Encouragement (H.O.M.E.) program, we are providing transitional housing and housing subsidy assistance to homeless women veterans and their children who live in DC, Maryland, or Virginia (DC Metro Area),” Jas Boothe added. “Being able to tap into the Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® network of women mentors and subject matter experts will be invaluable for these women veterans and offer them resources previously unavailable. We are very excited to join BPW Foundation as a Community Partner in Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® and we know that this partnership will support women veterans, our organizations’ mutual goal.”

Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® is connecting women veterans of all eras with volunteer working women mentors across the U.S. whose personal and professional training has prepared them to provide insights, advice, and encouragement to help women veterans,” Deborah Frett said. “Working together, volunteer mentors will help steer their mentees on individualized courses of action to succeed in the civilian workplace. Final Salute’s commitment to women veterans and their families is an extraordinary example of serving those who have served, and the organization is uniquely positioned in the DC metro community to address homelessness among this growing population. This is an ideal partnership, and we look forward to helping the too-many homeless women veterans together.”

BPW Foundation’s Joining Forces for Women Veterans and Military Spouses Mentoring Plus® was developed following the October, 2010 Joining Forces for Women Veterans Summit, which found the need for informed, committed mentors to position and assist women veterans as they search for new employment, hone their career goals, and package their military skills and experience to gain access to meaningful civilian jobs.  First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden highlighted this “mentorship gap” when they applauded BPW Foundation’s mentoring initiative as part of the White House’s national Joining Forces effort.

To join the mentoring program as either a mentor, subject matter expert or mentee sign up on the Joining Forces Mentoring Plus webpage.

Final Salute Inc. was founded in 2010 by Jas Boothe, a female veteran and cancer survivor who became aware of the large number of homeless female veterans and realized the need for an organization to meet and understand the unique needs of homeless female veterans and their children. Final Salute Inc. provides homeless female veterans with safe and suitable housing, financial counseling, and other assistance. Awareness. Assistance. Aspiration. For more information visit http://www.finalsaluteinc.org/

 

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