LEESBURG, Va., Nov. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Friday, November 1, 2013, David Walker, President and CEO of The Coalition to Salute America's Heroes, joined Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and veterans groups at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a Ward 7 Female Veterans with Children Transitional Housing Facility in the District of Columbia.
The transitional home is a part of a new initiative to end homelessness among U.S. military veterans by 2015 – and is the first of its kind in the Washington, D.C. area to address a burgeoning crisis facing young female combat veterans.
"Female veterans are four times more likely to be homeless," said Walker on the front steps of the home. "We are standing before one of the most significant projects in the country. We're pioneers. This problem is just starting. Why wait ten years when the problem is so daunting, everybody can't get their arms around it?"
To date, The Coalition has donated over $47,000 toward the project. During the news conference, Walker announced that The Coalition was giving another $7,500.00, to the project. Walker also called for other groups to pitch in to help finance. "We need $30,000 more in funding to complete this project. Hopefully somebody will be in a position to step up," he said.
The new facility, which consists of two houses located in the Deanwood area of Washington, D.C., will house six veterans in the smaller building and 13 female veterans with children in the larger building. The National Association of Concerned Veterans (NACV) also hopes to complete a dental clinic at the facility. This will be the fourth house in the area that the NACV has completed or is completing.
"I am grateful for all the organizations who are working with my administration to help homeless female veterans, who should not be left out in the cold given their sacrifices," said Mayor Gray. "This is a step in the right direction, but it's only a step, and there are many more steps we must take on their behalf."
Said Matt Cary, Director of D.C.'s Office of Veterans Affairs, "David's organization is national in scope. The woman veteran issue is very serious and I think David's organization is on the forefront of this. We have not seen the total surge yet from Iraq and Afghanistan… but the women coming out of those conflicts are combat veterans, with the same issues that the men have."
Project partners include: the D.C. Office of Veteran's Affairs, the NACV, The Coalition to Salute America's Heroes, the Circle of Friends for America's Veterans, the Vietnam Veterans Foundation, Samnang Development, the Home Depot Foundation and the local Home Depot, and others.
Cecil Byrd, president of the National Association of Concerned Veterans, said, "This community has embraced us and welcomed us and they're pleased with what is going on. David Walker of the Coalition, they're the ones who got us rolling. This is a cooperative effort and it's making a difference."
About the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes
The Coalition to Salute America's Heroes, based in Leesburg, VA, has provided an invaluable lifeline to thousands of America's wounded veterans since its establishment in 2004. The Coalition is distinguished from other veteran-focused organizations by its direct financial assistance to America's wounded heroes. For more information on the Coalition, and to learn how you can support its mission, visit www.saluteheroes.org.
SOURCE The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes