Athena housing for homeless female veterans listen10/06/08 SeÃ¡n Kinane
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With women playing a greater role in active-duty military operations, comes an increasing problem of homelessness among women veterans. This morning in Ybor City, a ribbon-cutting ceremony spotlighted a transitional housing program for homeless female veterans.
The Athena program, located in a historic brick building on Columbus Drive, will provide transitional housing to 16 homeless female veterans.
Sara Romeo is CEO of Tampa Crossroads, which organized the Athena program.
Sgt. Major Cynthia Pritchett said in addition to providing a place to live, the Athena program will offer homeless veteran women treatment and counseling for substance abuse, mental illness, injury or domestic violence.
When Interstate 4 was built, it cut Ybor City into two parts. Some of the historic buildings that would have been destroyed were relocated and some were rehabilitated by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
Don Skelton, FDOTâ€™s District 7 Secretary, said the Athena Female Veteran Transitional Housing Program is one of those historic buildings.
Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio said becoming homeless is something that veterans should not have to face.
Tampa-area U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor praised the Athena program as a way to get services to female homeless vets.
Learn more about the Athena Program at [tampacrossroads.com.
Photo by: SeÃ¡n Kinane/WMNF