After years of involvement in her church, Margaret Flowers had seen homelessness grow in her hometown in Houston County, Georgia.
As she got to better understand the communities she was servicing through church programs, she realized that the number of homeless individuals who were female veterans was shockingly high. Even more shocking was the lack of resources available to them.
This lead to her decision in 2010 to found the Genesis Joy House, which will be the first homeless female veteran shelter in the area.
Her mission is simple – to fill the gap in services for female veterans and provide them the resources to successfully integrate into civilian life.
Recently, they were donated a property with a couple of buildings and studio apartments, allowing them to turn it into a housing facility that can hold twenty or more women.
This facility will be used for a 90-120 day program where homeless female vets will receive life-skill training and work with counselors to start treatment for any trauma – whether that be PTSD, sexual abuse, or addiction. They will also have access to educational programs through the local Veterans Education Career Transition Resource Center (VECTR).
The goal is for each woman to leave the facility with a job and a place to live.
The project manager for the Genesis Joy House, Christina Davis, has her own personal stakes in this organization because she is a female vet who was once homeless herself.
“My pride was broken,” said Davis in a report by NBC. “Nobody wants to say ‘hey I can’t put a roof over my children’s heads’. Nobody wants to say ‘I can’t clothe my children. Nobody wants to say ‘I need help putting shoes on my children’s feet.”
Flowers and Davis have called on the community for help completing the facility, since it needs extreme renovations before it will be ready for their projected launch date in December.
“My heart is so much into this, I just want to scream,” Davis said. “Just come on out and help us.”
To learn more or donate to the Genesis Joy House, check out their website at www.genesisjoyhouse.org