Foundation for Women Warriors steps up to help female vets

Julia LeDoux
August 07, 2020 - 11:28 am
FFWW

Foundation For Women Warriors

Air Force veteran Jerrica Barksdale had just left a difficult relationship, trying to get back on her feet, and looking for work when she reached out to the Foundation for Women Warriors for help with her rent and her young daughter’s childcare bills. 

Barksdale is now working full-time as a capital contracting consultant for a global medical equipment supplier and has earned her master’s degree. 

“They had a significant impact on my life,” Barksdale said of FFW.“They illustrate that if you have faith, you will get by, that there are people who wear capes in human form, and I’m just grateful that there is an organization like that looking out for female veterans helping you do what you need to do to get back on your feet.”

Happy 100th, Foundation For Women Warriors

With an office in Carlsbad, California, the Foundation for Women Warriors is currently experiencing an unprecedented demand on its services during the COVID-19 pandemic and is looking for some help from the community itself. 

The non-profit hopes to serve dozens of women veterans and their children who have turned to its Emergency Services Program for help covering the cost of everything from the rent to car repair bills.

More than 200 female veterans in all have turned to the group for help during the pandemic, including those utilizing its webinars on financial planning, managing anxiety, career skills training, and organizing important documents such as living trusts.

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“Women historically have been overshadowed and underserved among our veteran population,” said Foundation for Women Warriors CEO Jodie Grenier, a Marine Corps veteran who worked as an intelligence analyst and was twice deployed to Iraq. “These women who have served their country are ready, willing, and able to serve their communities. It’s really a missed opportunity if we don’t invest in this population as they transition into civilian life.”

 

Grenier can relate. She went from providing Intelligence briefings in the 1st Marine Division to Gen. James Mattis and other top commanders to working as a bartender and waitress after five years with the Marines.

She eventually worked as an instructor and consultant for a number of military-affiliated companies, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in nonprofit leadership and management from the University of San Diego along the way, before arriving at the Foundation for Women Warriors four years ago.

Women are the fastest-growing segment of the homeless veteran population and an estimated 60% of women veterans in California face some form of housing insecurity, according to FFW.

Female veterans also suffer higher unemployment and poverty rates than their male counterparts and are less likely to have a support network.  Foundation for Women Warriors works to address the top four needs that women veterans have identified as crucial to the success of their transition from the military to civilian life: education, employment, housing and childcare.

For more on the foundation, visit here.

Reach Julia LeDoux at Julia@connectingvets.com

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