New Homes Will Provide Better Life For Female Veterans
The iBerkshires.com reports Retired Army Staff Sgt. Andrea Esposito moved into Soldier On transitional housing in Leeds when she was homeless and struggling with opioid addiction.
Jacqueline McArthur-Farmer, who left the Army in 1990, moved into the same building about seven months ago, after fleeing domestic abuse.
Now that the women have gotten back on their feet, through housing and programming offered through the organization, they will be among the first female veterans to move into Soldier On's Katie Doherty Veterans Village in Pittsfield this winter.
Soldier On works in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and other agencies to provide veterans with shelter and support toward independence that includes homeownership.
Esposito and McArthur-Farmer, along with several of their neighbors at the transitional home, will be moving into one-bedroom units that average about 457 square feet. Rent will be around $817 a month and include utilities, internet and basic cable.
A small group of Soldier On's board of directors and supporters attended an open house at the site of the project Friday night.
It is named after Catherine Doherty, a consultant to the Soldier On Women's Program and director of the Soldier On Training Institute. Doherty said she originally was called in to write a needs assessment for how to better serve women through what traditionally had been a male-dominated organization.
Doherty called the village, which was named in her honor, a "testament" to what happens when women voice their needs and they are respected.