National Women Veterans United combats homelessness

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Heroines: Female veterans gather at the National Women Veterans United’s Past and Present luncheon and fundraiser held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Alsip on Aug. 18. This year’s theme was “Women Veterans Are Heroes Too.” Each female veteran received a medal inscribed with the slogan. | SUPPLIED PHOTO

Since 2005, the National Women Veterans United organization has assisted female veterans with navigating veteran services and has recently zoomed in on homelessness in female veterans.

Rochelle Crump, NWVU's president, is an Army veteran with more than 20 years of experience in veteran affairs through tenures at the federal, state and city level.

"The main advocate," she said. "I'm like the first responder because of my longevity in working in the different capacities and knowing a lot of the systems."

NWVU will host its second stand down for homeless female vets on Oct. 27 at the Montford Point Marine Association, 7011 S. Vincennes Ave., Chicago. The term "stand down" refers to a gathering of veterans to utilize services in a one-stop shop. It can serve as an annual medical and dental check-up. Some stand downs provide clothing, haircuts and financial planning. The Oct. 27 event will cater to women only.

Last year, 44 female vets attended. This year's edition will also be an occasion to survey homeless female vets.

"We want to ask them what the gaps in the services are and what would help them today, so I'm asking the question today," Crump said.

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