Zahara Veterans Village

 Homeless Veteran Mandate

Tonight if a woman veteran reaches out to our organization seeking emergency or temporary housing for herself and her children, we cannot provide it, and neither do most other organizations. There are more than 20,000 women veterans in the Northeast Florida area and these women have performed every task imaginable from birthing babies to fighting wars. After service to our Nation, many veterans are emotionally scarred and challenged physically by injuries sustained during military duties, and growing portions of them are homeless.

There are a handful of shelters that house women veterans and most do so in exchange for per diem compensation from federal or state programs. Prior to the exchange of rooms for cash, those shelters did not serve women veterans and subsequently fail to provide the supportive programs and services to help them assimilate into society. Those shelters, while adequate for civilian residents, did not consider that more than seventy percent of women veterans are impacted by military sexual trauma or post traumatic stress disorder. Our organization has personally worked with women veterans who were given three blankets and floor space in crowded open sleeping areas and those that expressed discomfort sleeping in close proximity to males.

The top five shelters referred to homeless veterans by the local department of veterans affairs clinic have received millions of dollars in federal funding for housing veterans over the last fifteen to twenty years and none of them mention veterans in their organizations mission statement. After years of receiving donations and federal funds to help veterans, there still is no mention of veterans in the operating statements that typically drive most corporations.

Veterans can no longer pretend that the mandate to house veterans is best served by civilian agencies. The consistently rising suicide and homeless rates in the veteran community have determined that veteran organizations are needed to house veterans. Zahara Veterans Network, Inc. has responded to that mandate by developing the framework and plan to establish Zahara Veterans Village.

Zahara Veterans Village: The Future of Veteran Services

Housing at Zahara Veterans Village will be for single women veterans, women veterans with children, male veterans who are custodial parents of their children, and veteran families in distress. The initial design plans for:

  • 10 units for single women

  • 5 units for women with children

  • 5 units for Males with children/Families

Each resident will be required to follow a plan of action to address: mental health, career plans, financial management, stabilization after transition, veterans benefits assessment, and social engagement.

The Empowerment Center will serve as the command center for the business incubator, employment training, child care center, social service programs, café, and media center.

Or if you have any recommended resources that will assist our mission, get in contact with us here.

View the Gallery

Our gallery displays a mock-up of Zahara Veterans Village. Here we showcase a comfortable space for all to relax and enjoy their post-military civilian lives.