EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU ) — On Friday’s Veterans Voices, Eyewitness News features an organization helping women veterans get back on their feet after service to their country.
Many find the transition to civilian life a tough road, but now there’s hope thanks to people dedicated to restoring dignity and hope.
27-year-old Trevina Edwards says her experience in the Marines was life-changing. But the transition to civilian life hasn’t been easy. In fact, she says the struggle nearly ended her life.
“Oh man, it was very difficult. I’m being treated for PTSD. At a certain point in my life I felt like my experience, the things I have experienced in the military, were a little too much for me to bear, so I thought that removing myself was the best answer,” said Edwards.
But Trevina got support from the non-profit Volunteers of America. She even found new housing with their help.
Officials say more than 6 thousand veterans a year commit suicide, 1.5 times the normal rate.
Volunteers of America Midwest just received a $750 thousand federal grant to help with mental health and suicide prevention.
“If it goes unaddressed then we see things like veterans being homeless,” explained Kathleen Atkins, Senior Vice President of Program Operations at Volunteers of America.
This women’s housing project opened last fall in Cleveland, Ohio. The 12 studio apartments will be home to female veterans, providing permanent, affordable housing.
“We charge fair market rent, and we base that on the neighborhood. We pay for all utilities. We furnish the apartments,” stated Atkins.
Officials say this new facility was built with women in mind, to make them feel safe and protected. Trevina Edwards agrees. She believes her new home came just at the right time to help in her recovery.
“I am in a much better place now, I’m moving toward the end of my treatment. Now I’m moving to a new apartment. It’s on the up and up. I’m growing,” described Edwards.
Volunteers of America Pennsylvania include support for veterans and their families.
To learn more, visit the Veterans Voices tab.