In honor of Veteran’s Day, Southern, Sweet & Sassy Coffee would like to highlight Final Salute Inc, a non-profit doing important work for women Veterans in need.
A Mission to Help Homeless Women Veterans
Based on estimates from the federal government, there are at least 55,000 homeless women Veterans in the United States on a daily basis.
The mission of Final Salute, Inc. is to provide homeless women Veterans with safe and suitable housing. The organization was established to identify and meet the unique needs of homeless women Veterans and their children.
On a percentage basis, women are more likely to be homeless than men in the general Veteran population. And compared to non-Veteran women in the US, women Veterans are four times as likely to be homeless. Additionally, programs and facilities for homeless Veterans are often not equipped to safely welcome women or children, which puts them at continued risk of homelessness.
Some of the factors that contribute to homelessness for women after military service include military sexual trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, legal trouble, ineligibility for Veteran’s benefits, domestic violence, divorce, and lack of family support.
Final Salute Impact
Final Salute offers several programs that benefit women Veterans in different ways.
The H.O.M.E. and S.A.F.E. programs help women Veterans and their children who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, or under financial strain. The Next Uniform event honors women Veterans and provides them an image boost as they transition out of the military and back into the civilian world. And the Ms. Veteran America program highlights women Veterans’ strengths and sacrifices.
The Woman Behind It All
Final Salute was founded by Jas Boothe, an OIF/OEF Veteran who spent 17 years in the Army working with and advocating for Soldiers and their families. In 2005, she was an Army Reservist living in New Orleans with her young son. While mobilizing for an Iraq deployment, she found herself facing two devastating events that would change the course of her life. In August, she and her son lost everything they owned in the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The following month she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of head, neck and throat cancer.
After the cancer diagnosis Booth was medically discharged from the military, which left her scrambling to cover several vital needs at once: complex, full-time medical care; employment; and housing for herself and her child.
While researching options, she was unable to find programs that offered assistance to women Veterans with children. The Army’s only advice to her was to try welfare or social services. In her greatest moment of need, Boothe came to the painful realization that America had forgotten about the women who had served honorably alongside their male counterparts.
After extensive cancer treatment, Booth was able to stay in the Army Reserve and later took a job with the Army National Guard. But the experience affected her deeply, and she vowed to ensure her fellow sister Veterans would have the resources she didn’t during a significant time of need.
Filling a Vital Need for Women Veterans
Boothe’s experience led her to found Final Salute Inc in 2010, driven by her commitment to “never leave a fallen comrade”. To date, Final Salute has assisted more than 7,000 women Veterans and their children in 30+ states and territories. This assistance has come in the form of financial relief and resources for 5,668 people; employment transition support for 1,494; and more than 15,000 days of transitional housing.
Final Salute Inc is a non-profit filling a vital need in the Veteran space, helping to address some of the unique challenges faced by women Veterans and their children. To learn more about Final Salute and how you can help, please visit their website or follow them on Facebook.
Coffee for a Great Cause
This November 11th, a percentage of all Veteran’s Day sales at Southern, Sweet & Sassy Coffee Co. will go to Final Salute in support of the good work they do for women Veterans in need. So check out our new seasonal collection and be sure to stock up on your favorites!