American Sheroe

American Sheroe, Inc., is a newly-formed nonprofit organization committed to providing a continuum of services to homeless female veterans and their families that will allow the veteran to heal her military wounds, find inner peace, regain her self-esteem, and improve her academic and job readiness skills. This will lead to permanent housing, employment and self-sufficiency.

American Sheroe’s mission is to provide a healing and nurturing environment that encourages mental, physical, and spiritual wholeness.  We will treat the mind, body, and energy of each participant, empowering her with self-help tools that will enable her to reclaim the essence of her life before entering the military.

American Sheroe is an expansion of TuTTie’s Place, a residential wellness center for disconnected youth in the foster care system.  TuTTie’s Place just celebrated its 13th year of providing quality services to over 250 Maryland homeless youth.  Many of these youth have avoided the penal system, enrolled in higher education programs and successfully maintaining their independence through the efforts of the TuTTie’s Place programs.

We are builders. Builders of friendships, happiness, hope, opportunity, self-worth, strengths, success, trust, assurance, and confidence.  We are inspirational leaders.  We encourage people to practice the essence of the spiritual teachings that have been given to them, regardless of the source of their authority.  We are love.  We love the Creator.  We love life.  And, we love giving of ourselves and our resources.

Background

Unique women, with unique experiences.  Female veterans face new challenges today, both in the military and at home.  Women comprise 20% of new military recruits.  As more and more women enter into the new culture of the Armed Forces, they are more likely than ever before to experience combat which increases the risks that lead to homelessness when they return home.

Homelessness affects millions of people in the U.S.  According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, there are between 130,000 and 200,000 homeless veterans at any given time.  About 3% of these homeless vets are women. They are more likely than men to be married and to suffer some form of PTSD. They are also less likely to be employed.

Due to the Persian Gulf War and the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, there are more women veterans who exhibit risk factors for becoming homeless.  Many of these women suffer traumas related to sexual abuse and combat, which upon discharge, lead them to become incapable of securing employment, affordable housing, and proper child care.  Female veterans are 4 times more likely to become homeless compared to civilian women and male veterans.

Unique women, unique responsibilities – About a quarter of female veterans in the VA’s Homeless Programs have minor children.  Finding shelters that permit children and offer a safe environment is a major obstacle for female homeless veterans.  These women also have issues with the Veteran’s Administration and the male bias that still exists within the military system.  Many female veterans elect not to be identified as being a veteran because of the traumatic affects of sexual abuse that they experienced in the military. As a result, many will not access the services the VA provides.

Who We Serve

The women and children who come to American Sheroe will live in our transitional housing residence.  Single women will share dormitory-style sleeping quarters, while ladies with children will have private living quarters.

Each person who seeks our assistance will be treated with dignity and respect. If they do not qualify for our services, they will receive referrals to other programs.  American Sheroe is a safe haven where women can engage in quiet conversations and develop friendships and relationships with caring people who can aid them in their reintegration into society.

American Sheroe stands for all homeless female veterans.  We stand for them by seeing the Divine within each of them and by giving them tools to help them rediscover the Divine within themselves.  Our continuum of services are designed to provide transitional housing, mental health counseling, workforce development, family reunification, life skills, job placement, permanent housing assistance, and health, education, and wellness workshops.