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Milford facility for homeless female veterans hopes for upgrade

Home of The Brave has petitioned Sussex County Council to create new transitional housing facility for female veterans

Plans to relocate a homeless female veterans facility from its downtown Milford location has passed its first hurdle.

The Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended approval of an application to move the current facility to a five-acre site where its men's' facility is located, a half-mile east of Route 1 just outside Milford city limits.

The non-profit Home of the Brave Foundation operates the first transitional shelter for homeless female veterans and their children in the state.   

Its Executive Director Jessica Finan says veterans have a host of different issues than the general homeless population.

"This could be PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, or MST which is military sexual trauma, she says. "There’s a couple different factors with homeless veterans in general, so it is very nice to have their own population; be it male or female housing to address those needs."

According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, women currently make up 8% of the total veteran population.

Finan says the growing number of women serving in combat has created an increased need for veteran’s resources.

“For our female facility within the first year of it operating we had 23 individuals come through there so that definitely documents a need and that was from March 2014 to March 2015.”

The nonprofit group’s transitional housing program helps residents get back on their feet with staff providing counseling, employment assistance, food, and access to healthcare.

The Sussex County Council hearing on the shelter’s proposed move is scheduled for Sept. 15.

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