Volunteers work on improving facility for homeless female veterans

WINCHESTER, Ky. (WTVQ) – Serving those who have served our country, is the purpose of a facility in Winchester. This facility is focused on getting a certain group of veterans back on their feet, homeless female veterans.

“For what the veterans have done for all of us, this is the least that we could do for them,” said Alan Sutherland, “Power House of Giving” Volunteer Coordinator.

“Lady Veterans Connect” in Winchester, A facility for homeless female veterans, is coming together after four years of work by an army of volunteers.

On Friday the “Power House of Giving” group comprised of 23 volunteers from 5 different businesses, Clark Material Handling, SRC, Link Belt Excavators, Neogen, Humana, and 3M.

“We’ve got the porch project, the driveway project, the window project, the wall project, and the bathroom project,” said Sutherland.

The facility will soon be able to house up to 32 homeless female veterans and will be one of the three largest transitional housing programs in the nation for female veterans.

“We have up to 24,000 women veterans in Kentucky and other than our facility there are only five beds designated for women in the whole state of Kentucky and that’s just not acceptable,” said Phyllis Abbott, Lady Veteran Connect Executive Director.

While the facility isn’t fully completed, it is currently housing a female veteran, Frances Howard.

“Yes, I’m the first lady veteran here, the first resident,” said Howard. “So, I’m kind of special, I’m number one.”

Howard served in the Navy from 1980 to 1984.

She said she’s thankful to have found such a welcoming place after being homeless.

“They don’t judge you, they don’t go by religion, race, color, or any of that,” said Howard.

Abbott said it’s about providing a safe place for female veterans in need.

“By providing a save place, we work on their self-esteem, getting them ready for jobs,” Abbott explained.

Abbott adds there will be yoga, art therapy, and nutritional classes. There will also be a focus on restoring relationships between the veterans their families.

“There are more women serving in the military now,” said Abbott. “And when they’re coming out, according to the latest reports, one in 25 will become homeless in the first year.”

After four years of working on this project, Abbott said she expects next month’s grand opening to be an emotional one.

“A good beginning for a really good place that’s going to meet an incredible need,” said Sutherland.

The grand opening will take place on June 12th at 1 p.m.

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