In an effort to draw more attention to the need for supportive housing for veteran families, the owners of the Howard Johnson/Day’s Inn have agreed to partner with EscaRosa Coalition on The Homeless and The Women’s Empowerment Center Pilot Project to donate rooms for homeless families during the holidays at the Pensacola Inn on Highway 29 in Escambia County. Homeless veteran and nonveteran families will be provided emergency housing to Jan. 21. 

The Women's Empowerment Center Pilot Project will commence operation of their transitional housing program with a full array of supportive services by Jan. 21, and these families will be able to transition directly to that Pilot Project . The Women's Empowerment Center is a project created by the Monument to Women Veterans Inc. in cooperation with Poe In Action Inc. and the EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless Inc. for the purpose of preventing and ending the homelessness of our veteran families. The Women's Empowerment Center Pilot Project has been designed to be easily duplicated and taken anywhere across the nation to help homeless veterans.

For the past several months, the Center for Strategic Military Excellence (CSME), who has developed an integrated approach for veteran-centered care and founded the Monument to Women Veterans Inc., has been meeting with several non-profit organizations, George Hawthorne from Diversity Program Advisors Inc. and Jay and Nash Patel, international leaders in the hotel/motel industry, with LHS Inc. to develop plans for an effective supportive housing program that will help aid the goal of the Department of Veteran Affairs to end homelessness among our veterans by 2015. It is hoped that not only will our local businesses help support this project but also HUD and VA since all have a vested interest in ending homelessness.

The Pensacola Inn will be adding additional rooms for more families as funding permits. EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless, Monument to Women Veterans and Poe In Action will identify eligible families and solicit a hosting fee from local businesses, organizations and individuals who want to help a veteran family for 30 days. Contact EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless at 439-3009 or go to www,echo.org.