Lorina Marshall-Blake, president of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation, helped celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Veterans Multi-Service Center’s Women Veterans Center (WVC) on January 17. The event, held at the Independence Visitor Center, honored military women and their families. The WVC is the only community-based facility in the Philadelphia region – and one of only a handful in the entire United States – dedicated to championing the growing needs of female veterans.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 10 percent of veterans are women and over 60,000 of those women live in Pennsylvania. In 2014, the Veteran’s Multi-Service Center created the Women’s Center to address the growing and unique needs of women veterans in the region. The center provides help with housing, benefits counseling, job development training and, with funding from the Foundation, wellness programs for women veterans and their families.
Did you know?
- Nearly 84 percent of female veterans are of working age (17-64), compared to 55 percent of male veterans
- In 2011, 10 percent of female veterans lived below the poverty threshold, compared to 6.6 percent of male veterans
- Approximately 2 percent of all female veterans will experience homelessness over the course of a year; and approximately 15 percent of female veterans already living in poverty will experience homelessness
- Female veterans are more than twice as likely as non-veteran women to experience homelessness
- Women make up the fastest growing population of veterans following 9/11; 1 percent of the population are veterans and 10 percent of them are women
- One in six female veterans report being sexually assaulted during their service
- Female veterans are two times more likely to engage in suicide than civilian women
Source: Veterans Multi-Service Center