Shamwari will be the most talked about village for homeless female veterans and young women battling mental health challenges, an innovative and successful model for transforming the lives of these young
women and their children
Pictures by award-winning photographer Mary F. Calvert.
Mission: To serve homeless female veterans and young women battling mental health and addiction challenges holistically by addressing their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs so that they gain economic stability, gain meaningful employment, and realize their purpose in impacting the world.
Purpose: To provide opportunities so that these women will:
Successfully transition to civilian life.
Successfully navigate their lives despite mental health or addiction challenges.
Realize their personal and economic wellbeing.
Grow socially, emotionally, and spiritually.
Be nurturing, caring, and loving mothers.
Shamwari, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, will be a master planned community that provides stable housing and individualized treatment plans for young women floundering in a state of homelessness and mental and emotional despair. Shamwari will view each young woman as a talented individual with a promising future. Our programs will focus holistically on their mental, emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual health. Shamwari will provide a supportive community for these women and their children as they claim their stability and navigate their way out of chronic uncertainty.
Female veterans were three to four times more likely to become homeless when compared to non-veteran women. The primary causes of homeless female veterans include unemployment, disability, poor health and lack of treatment for PTSD and/or anxiety problems.
Up to 80 percent of young women suffering from addiction are also struggling with a mental health disorder. This is often due to the high risk of abuse (emotional, physical, and sexual) women experience throughout their lifetimes. Many homeless female veterans report sexual and mental trauma in the workplace.
Poor mental health, alcoholism, and substance abuse are risk factors for homelessness. Young women struggling with these issues are more likely to lose a reliable source of income and social support. These losses increase the risk of homelessness.
Homeless female veterans: Out of sight out of mind
Female veterans are the fastest-growing demographic of homeless veterans in America today. Far from being a well-understood phenomenon, most studies and surveys are hard-pressed to include female veterans in the overall picture of veteran homelessness — or recognize their unique risk factors and survival strategies. There is no solid sense of even how many women veterans are homeless, because the choices they make when they are experiencing unstable housing, such as sleeping on couches at friends’ and family’s homes until their welcome runs out, leaves them generally out of the federal count of and excluded from public notice or the resources that they and often their dependent children with them need. These unsung heroes need help. NOW.
Our female veterans served us : it's our time to serve them
It takes a village... and in this case a village to put a roof over the heads of our homeless female veterans and their children. A village that provides a warm bed, an address, security, safety, and above all hope and opportunity.
Shamwari is in its first phase to require land about 60 acres to build a home and community for our female veterans. Amernities will include a health center, playgrounds for children, places such as parks and a chapel for study and shared fellowship and furnished micro-homes providing comfortable and affordable independent living areas supported by common amenities such as walking trails and an amphitheater for Friday night movies. Our concept is anchored around community kitchens, bathrooms, and laundries. The village is designed to promote healing and independence.
YOU can be the change for our homeless female veterans. YOU can be integral in the fruition of Shamwari by volunteering, advocating, and supporting our mission. Establishing partnerships with community leaders, builder networks, professionals, other nonprofits, and passionate supporters will translate into independence and a purpose for the women Shamwari will serve. Contact us for more information.