• Operation WEBS: March 2020 Newsletter

    Operation WEBS: Women Empowered Build Strong (OpWEBS) is developing a self-sustaining, Tiny Home on Wheels (THOW) Farming Community in Santa Barbara County. Some of the basic building skills learned at our workshops will encourage and empower women veterans to break through the various layers of barriers preventing them from transitioning back to civilian life. 


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    What We Are About
     
    As an US Air Force Veteran, women veterans and their lack of housing stability is very close to my heart! 

    The homes we build are by veterans and our community partners. They are provided for for women veterans to reside within the community, as part of a two - three year working farm program. The program is aimed at correcting their current, individual housing instability or homelessness crisis.

    The strategic plan for OpWEBS is to:

    - Connect our sisters with various service resources
    - Help forge supportive relationships within the community
    - Graduate these AMAZING women to a lifestyle of regained independence

    Programs offered include:

    - Basic carpentry
    - Basic farming
    - Veteran resource networks
    - Holistic healing and support
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    The Statistics

    - Female Veterans are the FASTEST GROWING SEGMENT of Homeless Veteran Population (military.com/militaryadvantage/2018/03/28/female-veterans-are-fastest-growing-segment-homeless-veterans.html)

    - In 2017, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimated over 40,000 Veterans were homeless on a single night in January of that year. Of the 2 million female Veterans, 9% of them were homeless. From 2016 to 2017, the number of homeless female Vets increased 7%, compared with 1% for their male counterparts (blogs.va.gov/VAntage/46758/female-veterans-comprise-fastest-growing-segment-homeless-veteran-population)

    - Military Sexual Trauma (MST) is an epidemic facing 39% of women veterans nation wide, has been found more traumatic and debilitating than rape in the civilian context, and is more likely to lead to PTSD than ANY other military or civilian traumatic event, including combat exposure (calvet.ca.gov/WomenVets/Documents/California Women Veterans Fact Sheet.pdf)

    - Nearly 80% of homeless veterans suffer from mental health disorders, drug and/or alcohol abuse, or co-occurring disorders. Women who experience Military Sexual Trauma (MST) were 9 times more at risk for PTSD. Mental health disorders lead to difficulties maintaining productive employment, among other difficulties, greatly increasing the risk of homelessness. (nchv.org/images/uploads/HFV paper.pdf

    - The highest risk of homelessness was in the 45-54 year age cohort, women veterans were over 4 times as likely to be homeless as their nonveteran counterparts. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447922 

    - The risk for suicide was 2.5 times higher among female Veterans
    compared with U.S. civilian adult women (VA: mentalhealth.va.gov/docs/VA-Women-Veterans-Fact-Sheet.pdf 
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    What We Have Accomplished So Far

    With the AMAZING support of our community, we have: 

    - Completed our first tiny home on wheels (THOW) for our women veteran farming community

    - In the last year, we provided FIVE women veterans (30-72 years old) with housing stability and connected them to supportive veterans service providers

    - Hosted a 3-Day finishing carpentry workshop for veterans and members of Vandenberg AFB, for FREE with Operation Tiny Home, Zack Giffin from HGTV's Tiny Home Nation, and their sponsors including The Home Depot, Wells Fargo, and Milwaukee Tools 
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    If you would like to support us, become a partner in our mission, & donate please click: greatnonprofits.org/fundraisers/view/fund-the-need-for-operation-webs-women-empowered-build-strong--n1047