Many faith-based programs that offer shelter and job training for veterans receive federal funding for their programs. When they receive federal funds, they cannot restrict access to the job-training programs to men only. This was the heart of the recent settlement between the Department of Labor and the Buncombe Community Christian Ministry. The lawsuit was brought by the Southern Poverty Law Centeron behalf of female veterans who were excluded from federally-funded job training programs.
The job-training programs offered, such as truck driving, training for green jobs, and culinary arts, were restricted to men, and women were offered classes in knitting, yoga, self esteem, and Bible study.
The Christian ministry, composed of a group of approximately three hundred churches in Western North Carolina, received $200,000 in 2012 from the Department of Labor’s Veterans Workforce Investment Program and the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program.
As part of the settlement, the ministry will revise policies that exclude women, receive anti-discrimination training, and will conduct outreach to female veterans and woman’s advocacy groups.
The Mission Continues released a study on women veteran’s perceptions of the lack of respect with which their service was seen upon reentering civilian life. With discrimination issues in the ranks, and lack of gender-specific outreach and VA medical services, women veterans often feel excluded from veteran outreach and support after leaving military service.
Female veterans are twice as likely as other women to be homeless. Unemployment is higher among female veterans than male veterans. The average female veteran is a parent. Female veterans are six times as likely to commit suicide as other women.
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