The Texas Veterans Commission Fund for Veterans’ Assistance (FVA) recently awarded Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston two grants totaling $800,000 to provide general assistance and housing for women veterans in the Greater Houston area.
“We are delighted to be able to help more women veterans in the coming year because of these two generous grants from the Texas Veterans Commission,” said Cynthia N. Colbert, MSW, Catholic Charities president and CEO. “Houston has the second largest veteran population in the United States, and Catholic Charities is one of the few organizations that caters specifically to the unique needs and challenges of women veterans.”
The nonprofit agency received a $500,000 Housing for Heroes grant to support and expand The Lotus Project for Women Veterans and Lotus: Pathways to Hope, which currently provides homelessness support services, housing and homeless prevention services, and wrap-around services including counseling, employment coaching and case management to low-income and disabled female veterans and their children/dependents.
The new grant will allow Catholic Charities to continue providing the current services and convert the Villa Guadalupe Transitional Housing facility to exclusively serve women veterans and their children.
“The facility is a respite that will be available to qualified women veterans for several months, offering private apartments and support services to give the veterans and their children a safe place to overcome the self-sufficiency barriers of homelessness, unemployment, trauma, and mental and physical disabilities,” said Natalie Wood, Catholic Charities vice president for Strengthening Families and Senior Services.
Catholic Charities also received $300,000 for general assistance, to serve low- and very low-income, disabled, unemployed and/or homeless women veterans living in Harris, Galveston and Fort Bend Counties. The project will provide one-time financial assistance, including but not limited to childcare, car repair, moving costs, rent/utilities, emergency shelter, clothing, furniture and household items. Participants also can access a network of other services, including career support, financial coaching and counseling.
Catholic Charities is the only local organization providing housing and comprehensive wrap-around services specifically tailored for women veterans. The Lotus Project was formed in 2014 as a response to the unique challenges facing disabled women veterans, with the goal of helping them rebuild their lives.
“We are very grateful the Texas Veterans Commission has provided support to allow us to continue to address the unique needs of women veterans,” said Olivia Bush, program director for The Lotus Project. “The Lotus programs are dramatically improving the lives of these brave military veterans and their families, and we are honored to work with these heroes.”