There’s a woman, we’ll call her Mary. Mary has done 2 tours in Afghanistan.  When she comes back, there’s no welcome home, no community to turn to and now she’s ended up on the streets – alone, with no place to go.


Just take a few minutes to imagine our women heroes – female veterans – coming home from war to nothing. Our backs turned to them. These women having no place to go, no place to live! To give you an idea of the proportions we are talking about; According to the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans Report 2010 Women Veterans frequently report being disrespected and not given the recognition that they deserve for having served our country when seeking and utilizing VA services and benefits. According to the DoD as of September 30, 2011 there are over 207 thousand women from the US in service from General down to E-1 status.


I am Carrie Miller. I have a team of 6 who are leading the way in MI with Our Home Transitional; offering transitional housing for female vets coming back from these wars needing a place to live while transitioning to self-sufficiency. Our program will offer all the governmental and social organizational help needed for this endeavor, including but not limited to; CMH, COC, HUD, Veterans Employment Services and many others.  We also have an advisory committee that currently consists of a CPA, Insurance Agent, Restorator, lawyer and a Realtor.


Our Home Transitional brings these women home again through the offering of transitional housing in a family setting. We do what we are doing because we believe in our purpose, in this dream. We want to provide a trusting home environment for our female vets who have served us and ended up homeless or in distress; without the basic things you and I have like food, clothing, and shelter.


We offer companionship, compassion and commitment to help transition these women and their children to self-sufficiency and become productive members of civilian society. As they move on from our services, we anticipate – but do not expect – that they will in return reward our efforts with donations and volunteerism; in a pay-it-forward kind of way.


Our Home offers a family environment different from the other choices – a male orientated VA, homeless shelters, living on the streets, or, for the lucky ones, couch-surfing. We bring a sense of comfort and belonging because all these women will have household jobs and chores to help in the functioning of Our Home.


Foremost, we are in need of funding to bring this dream to fruition. There are no transitional housing centers in Genesee Co for females only; with or without children. It is imperative to get this process in motion and have Our Home Transitional up and running ASAP as our women will be coming home in droves very soon.  Even though only about 2000 are registered as Genesee Co residences, that does not mean more than that will come home to our area upon returning from service.


As a non-profit filing for our 501c3 status through our lawyer, what we need is 1.5 million dollars, 10-20% of which will cover the usual admin, overhead and start-up costs along with salaries and other expenditures; the rest will be used for home restoration, furnishings such as beds, couches, dining room tables and chairs, clothing for both women and children, home entertainment for grown-ups as well as kids, school supplies, food and kitchen supplies, 2 to 3 full size passenger vans for transporting our female vets to their appointments with said governmental and social orgs that will be helping with their transition to civilian life and self-sufficiency. Basically, all the things needed to run a house hold, in this case several.  We expect this amount to be enough to get us up and running and in good order while we continue to apply for other gov’t funding/grants.  The women will also receive their VA benefits and a portion of which will be used as their rent, on a sliding scale of course. We will also receive approximately $38 per day per female vet via the Grant Per Diem offered by the VA for housing programs like this one.  Once our vet’s transition, Federal monies pour into MI.  For example, according to Pure MI’s Veterans’ Services Division, employers who hire vets get tax breaks and other incentives such as Fidelity Bond Insurance up to 25k per high risk vet; schools that admit them receive $6000 per vet. Last year MI brought in $244 MILLION from hiring vets due to payroll, $10 MILLION in tax revenues generated and $13 MILLION in unemployment payments saved.  Not to mention, a self-sufficient person, vet or otherwise, spends money, investing in our economy – this is your ROI.


Finally, this is also an opportunity to revitalize and beautify the City of Flint as we plan on purchasing several abandoned or foreclosed homes with this funding in a one or 2 block area and even a couple rural ones as well to give our female vets a choice of a city or country setting to transition. So I ask you; are you ready to jump on board? Are you ready to help us help those who have served our country?