As of September 2014, there were 84,073 female veterans in North Carolina. That is the sixth highest per state number in the country. Over 7,000 of them live in the Triangle area. It is also known that female veterans experience a higher percentage rate of homelessness compared to male veterans. They also experience a higher percentage of military sexual trauma (MST), the effects of which carries into civilian life. Like their male counterparts, female veterans are also more likely to be unemployed or under-employed than their civilian counterparts, but are also more likely to be living as a single parent of young children. These factors create a unique set of hurdles often faced by our younger OEF/OIF female veterans.
Thankfully, in the Triangle area we have partner organizations who are serving to support female veterans. One of these organizations is Women Veterans Support Services (WVSS). WVSS serves as an advocate and referral agency for women veterans in Durham, Orange, and Wake County.
Their mission is:
- To obtain help with immediate needs, such as shelter, food, and clothing, and transition aid through existing networks and resources
- To help women veterans receive the benefits to which they and their families are entitled and also connect them to community support
- To navigate the often-complex process of benefits application
- To ease the stress for women veterans who file claims for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and help them through the process.
- To establish the only women veteran facility in the triangle area that accepts children
Over the past seven years, WVSS and MVRC have coordinated in care and shared in financial support for a number of our female veterans in need. It is not unusual to learn that WVSS volunteers have gone out in the night hours to assist a female vet in crisis. Like other small veteran support groups, funding for their work is limited. WVSS survives and operates on the generosity of friends and benefactors. They accept contributions in cash, kind, or by volunteer time. Learn more about WVSS and how you can support their mission to help veterans in crisis.