Jenson Franklin, Senior Pastor of Free Chapel and the Los Angeles Dream Center commemorated Memorial Day with the opening of a women veterans home in California, to equip them with skills necessary to transition back into civilian life. The Justin Turner Foundation is also a partner in the initiative. According to Franklin’s website, more than 40,000 veterans were homeless on a typical night last year, adding that one in five female veterans suffer from military sexual trauma.
The new facility, a refuge of safety, recovery, and hope for our brave female service members will house 18 women veterans to help them go back into civilian life. A home for female veterans is largely a brainchild of Pastor Mathew Barnett, co-founder of the Dream center and senior Pastor of the Angela’s Temple.
“I was speaking on the road at three different churches and I was talking about our wonderful men’s veterans program at one of the churches. When the service was over I went to the book table in the back and a lady came up to me and said: “Pastor, this is wonderful what you’re doing for these men, it’s exciting but have you ever thought about helping the women veterans who have served our country”. It never really crossed my mind until then and I said thank you for letting me know about that need that’s there“.
“Second week I went to a church and the same exact thing happened. The third week, three weeks in a row, and I knew that God was trying to speak to me about something and that is to open up a place. We decided to open up this most cherished spot on this campus. It makes sense because we should honor those who have served by serving the ones who have served”
Barnett noted that the women who stay at the facility will receive a new mission which will be to help others on the streets of Los Angeles. The facility will not charge anything from the women for providing individual assistance and mentorship, community outreach, classroom-based instruction, support, and connection to local employment resources and benefits.
“Because of our partnership, the veterans program will be able to provide women veterans the same transformative support and resources currently offered for male veterans. This will also include the addition of a local women veteran’s home on site”.
The Pastor stressed that it’s not just enough to remember fallen heroes who died for the country they loved and that they stood for. We should also remember our living veterans, some 20 million strong who’ve earned our respect and deserve our support.