Did you know…? 22 million veterans live in the U.S., 3.5 million veterans have suffered service-connected disabilities, and 40 percent of veterans are over the age of 65.
Many of the veterans that make up the statistics above need accessibility modifications to live comfortably and safely in their homes – and many are unable to make these needed repairs without assistance. As a result, our veterans are not the only ones suffering, but their families and caregivers as well.
Statistics also show that the fastest growing group within the veteran community is women. Unfortunately, women veterans are also the fastest growing segment of the homeless population, and are twice as likely to be homeless as their civilian counterparts.
To address the particular housing needs of women veterans, caretakers and their families, we are proud to announce our third annual Celebration of Service. From 9/11 to Veterans Day, the Foundation will invest $3 million, and thousands of Home Depot associates across the country will complete 350 service projects.
Today, in Los Angeles, we kick off the campaign in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Greater L.A. and Volunteers of America Support for Harbor Area Women (SHAWL) program. In just one day, more than 150 Team Depot volunteers will transform the home of single mother and Iraq and Afghanistan veteran Lidia Perez and the Haviland House, an emergency transitional home that will serve women veterans.
Lidia Perez, a Navy veteran, is the mother of two young boys. Seven family members live in her three-bedroom home, including Lidia and her sons, her mother, two adult sisters and young niece. Volunteers will partner with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles to complete a variety of projects to improve Lidia’s home, including:
- Painting the exterior and interior of the home
- Installing carpet in the bedrooms
- Performing minor plumbing repairs
- Landscaping and installing fencing in the front and backyard to give the children a safe play area
VOA’s SHAWL (Supporting Harbor Area Women’s Lives) is a residential recovery program for homeless women who are affected by drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence and emotional abuse, many of whom are veterans. Project work will include:
- Painting and repairing the exterior of the home
- Reinforcing the front porch
- Repairing the sprinkler systems
- Landscaping in the front and backyard for shade and privacy
- Creating an outdoor area with a porch and BBQ
- Installing new fences around the property to ensure child safety
We feel very fortunate to meet these brave women veterans. Not only are we proud to have the opportunity to refurbish the homes and facilities where they live and receive services, but also to say ‘thank you’ for their many sacrifices.
For more information on Celebration of Service, click here.
To see additional stats and facts about women veterans and caregivers, click here.