Housing, support services for female veterans to be built in North College Hill

VOA to open Anabelle's Place (VIDEO)

NORTH COLLEGE HILL, OH (FOX19) - A new, unique housing project is on its way to North College Hill aimed at helping women veterans.

Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio is building a 12-unit apartment complex known as Annabelle's Place.

The facility is designed as a "new affordable housing community for women veterans."

"The new housing community will provide low- to moderate-income women veterans in the Cincinnati area much-needed supportive housing to help foster a positive living environment in which they can recover and thrive," according to a press release sent Wednesday.

"We think it's going to be the beginning of helping a lot of female veterans," said Dennis Kresak, president and CEO of Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio.

The project will sit on a 3.8 acre site off of West Galbraith Road and will be made up of two buildings, each one-story and about 4,000 square feet.  It will contain efficiency-style apartments serving as permanent housing for the women.

"To me, this is a nice happy ending to having a use for that property," said North College Hill Mayor Maureen Mason.

Kresak says the project is the second one built by the organization.  Plans were finalized at a meeting in North College Hill earlier this week.

"It's like the small town adjacent to a big city.  I think that's what kind of helps and what made us so attractive," said North College Hill City Administrator Sheryl Long.

The women living at Annabelle's Place will all come from different backgrounds.  Project officials say they face different situations than men when coming home.

"When women veterans return home, they face unique challenges different from those of their male counterparts, including raising children on their own or dealing with the psychological effects of military sexual trauma," Kresak said.

"Annabelle's Place will help to better serve women veterans in the Cincinnati area, who are at a greater risk of becoming homeless, by providing a safe and secure environment where they can live independently while learning to recover and reach their full potential."

There will be services available to the women to help them work through the challenges and their individual situations including case management, support groups for sexual trauma, domestic violence and moral injury, and medical professionals available.  Annabelle's Place is also close to nearby employment opportunities, shopping and transportation.

"The great thing about having these women join our community is we're going to be able to look out for them, as well.  We're going to say, 'Thank you,'" Long told FOX19 NOW.

The project will cost $1.6 million dollars and is set to break ground this fall with completion set for next summer.

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