Lady Vets Connect gets $50K grant

Published 10:08 am Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Plans to convert the former Trapp Elementary School into a transitional home for female veterans recently received a major boost with a $50,000 grant.

Lady Veterans Connect founder Phyllis Abbott said the organization recently received the funds from the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs Trust Fund.

“Its supposed to cover LED lighting… security lighting and there are some holes in the firewall,” she said. “If we can get some donated help, we can spread it even farther.”

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The organization purchased the school in 2016, about two years after it and three other community schools were closed and the students consolidated.

When finished, the building will be able to house up to 35 female veterans and provide services for a variety of needs, she said.

Abbott said progress is being made on the Trapp facility. Some furniture has been placed in the classrooms to show how they would look and showers are being added to the school’s bathrooms.

The big ticket item that remains is a furnace to heat the back part of the school where the rooms and library are. The school’s old coal furnace was removed, but replacing it has been a big, expensive task.

“That’s still 1,900 square feet to go,” Abbott said.

The latest price she received for a furnace was $78,000. While it is still a big purchase, it’s much better than the original quote of $170,000.

“We’ve made progress in negotiations,” she said.

Lady Veterans Connect already has a smaller facility and services in Fayette County to help female veterans acclimate to society after being discharged.

Abbott said many don’t identify themselves as veterans and do not get help offered by the VA, partly because many are victims of military sexual trauma as well, she said, and male-dominated offices and agencies are a threat.

Part of what the organization does is make connections between the female veterans and places they can get help, she said.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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