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Dozens of volunteers show up to build a one-of-a-kind shelter

By Jerry Najera, Multimedia Journalist
Published On: Jan 14 2014 07:50:55 PM CST

Healing, Optimizing, Perfecting, and Empowering is what H.O.P.E. stands for. It's the beginning of second chances.

El Paso, Texas -

"Statistics show that on any given night here in El Paso, there's over a 100 women who are homeless vets. It's a tragedy," said Hope Jackson, founder of the H.O.P.E. institute.

The newly -established non-profit is aimed at helping homeless soldiers and they are all women.

Jackson tells ABC-7, "It's a problem nationwide," she says, "It's a bigger problem than most people think."

"I knew that women in the military were faced with challenges that men might not necessarily be exposed to," said Jackson.

The Department of Veterans Affairs agrees. The VA states that many female veterans face challenges when returning to civilian life, different from those of their male counterparts.

Those include raising children on their own or dealing with the psychological after effects of trauma, such as military sexual abuse.

"There's no place right now that a homeless female veteran can go to exclusively for them," said Jackson.

That could be why more than 50 volunteers, including Ft. Bliss soldiers came out to help Jackson fix up the shelter Saturday morning.

Home Depot contributed $14,500 to the cause and everyone was thankful they did.

"I had numerous people come out and say, 'When are we going to do this again? This felt so good," said Jackson.

The home will be able to occupy four tenants and also offer services for the women.

"I will offer what I consider to be financial wellness training," said Jackson.

Among other services, Jackson will teach the women how to manage a check book, start a bank account and how to prepare a budget.

"I know these women have fallen off the beaten path and they just need a helping hand and once we give them that helping hand that's going to be the start to helping them transition from dependency to self suffiency," said Jackson.

The home is expected to be ready at the end of Febuary.

If you'd like to contribute your time or materials, contact Hope Jackson at 915-202-7955 or email her at supportteam@theinstituteofhope.org.

 

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