Not many people are aware that Augusta has one of six nationwide transitional living homes for women veterans and their children. But we do: the Betsy Ann Ross House of Hope, which opened last fall and currently houses five veterans and one child with room for up to three more veterans.

Homelessness among women veterans is growing faster than it is among any other group of people in America.

While there are numerous programs offered by the federal Veterans Affairs Department, finding which program might be best is a challenge many veterans face. In addition, some women may find it intimidating to speak up for their needs within a system traditionally geared toward men. The Betsy Ann Ross House helps women veterans navigate VA programs, connecting them with the services they need.

Being part of a military family, I’ve heard firsthand stories about challenges women face in the military and in acclimating to civilian life outside of their service. Any veteran is susceptible to certain challenges when transitioning from a combat zone to everyday life, but those are often compounded for women. If you do a couple of quick internet searches, you’ll see that females face a much higher rate of sexual assault and harassment in the military as compared to the general public. Such trauma only worsens the already-difficult transitions one must make in a military lifestyle.

Proposed legislation would help fund the house, giving the hope of sanctuary to share with others. Contact your state representative and state senator and ask them to support L.D. 792. After all, these women have given a piece of their lives for our freedoms – it’s time we support them.

Please do your part to ensure that these services are available to our brave female veterans who need it and donate here: betsyannrosshouseofhope.com.

Gordon Spinney

Augusta


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