Home Of The Brave Opens Housing Facility For Women Veterans - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Home Of The Brave Opens Housing Facility For Women Veterans

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MILFORD, Del. – Nearly 600 veterans across Delaware are homeless on any given night. About five percent of that number includes women veterans.

"Our women warriors are under-served in most of the veteran services just because our numbers are smaller," says Ruth Irwin, a veteran and board member for Home of the Brave. "The community needs to take care of all their soldiers and women are soldiers too."

For that reason, Home of the Brave is opening a transitional living facility for homeless women veterans. For more than 20 years, Home of the Brave had a facility for male homeless veterans in Milford, and after more than a year of hard work, all their time is starting to pay off.

"Tonight is like a dream come true, simply because we've wanted it and wanted it and we know there's a wonderful need," says Tony Bergfelder, a veteran and secretary for Home of the Brave.

The group held an open house at the new location on 9 Causey Avenue on Wednesday. Home of the Brave is leasing the location from Roger Wood of God's Way To Recovery, with the help of a few grants.

"This is the first one in the whole state of Delaware that will be targeting homeless female veterans and their children," says Jessica Finan, executive director with Home of the Brave. "This is critical to the entire state."

"They have no place to go, a lot of them don't want to go into the shelters because of their children," says Beth McGinn, chairman of the board for Home of the Brave.

The home includes bedrooms and several common areas, such as a family room and study with computers, along with an office for personnel who help the women prepare to thrive again.

"We do resume building, job skills, furthering their education," says Finan. "We're basically wrapping around any type of service that they may need."

The house can hold eight women, which they hope to begin phasing in at the end of February or beginning of March. However, Home of the Brave hopes to expand once the community sees the need.

"This is not a one shot deal, we've been at a war for over 10 years now, and you're going to have male and female veterans that are going to need the support of the community for decades to come," says Irwin.

The main way to ensure that Home of the Brave can continue the housing is through help from the community.

"We'll have no shortage of women that need our help and services," says Bergfelder. "One of our biggest problems is simply raising money to keep the building open."

For the details on how you can help, visit the Home of the Brave website.

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