It’s no secret that we have a real problem with homeless veterans in this country. But did you know that of the tens of thousands of homeless vets, nearly half of them are women. It is estimated that there are nearly 55,000 homeless women veterans in the United States on any given night.
Final Salute, Inc., is a nonprofit organization based in Virginia that works closely with the U.S. Veterans Administration (VA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to end this travesty.
“For the sacrifices they and their families have made, this is an unacceptable state for any of them to be in,” says the organization’s website. “Final Salute Inc. believes in paying women Veterans with the proper respects due to them for the service they have provided to our country. Final Salute also works with the Veteran in establishing her plan towards independence.”
A 2011 report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says that neither the VA nor HUD collect adequate data on homeless women veterans. In fact, the report said, “Absent more complete data, VA does not have the information needed to plan services effectively, allocate grants to providers, and track progress toward its overall goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015.”
A few factors that contribute to homelessness among veterans include:
- Ineligibility for veteran benefits
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Mental illness
- Domestic violence
Final Salute isn’t waiting for the government to take actions, it’s moving now and it needs your help. Final Salute provides transitional housing for women and children and provides professional clothing and job search assistance for homeless women veterans. For $25, Final Salute can house, clothe, feed and provide educational and counseling sessions for homeless women veterans.
Final Salute is not only helping protect women veterans, it is also saving lives.
“Because I have to plug into the wall outlet at night to keep my heart pump going, it was causing me great stress knowing that I was in danger of getting my electricity cut. Final Salute Inc. came in and paid the entire bill ensuring me that I would be able to stay in my apartment,” says S. Moore of Woodbridge, Virginia.
For more information on how you can help Final Salute or to donate to day, visit www.finalsaluteinc.org.