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Lady veterans center ready, but virus forces delay

It’s been a long three and a half years to convert the former Trapp Elementary School into a transitional home for female homeless veterans.

The organization was ready to dedicate the facility later this month, but the festivities have been postponed as the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve.

“It’s frustrating, but at the same time we have to make everyone safe,” Lady Veterans Connect founder Phyllis Abbott said. “We’ve been ready for about six weeks. We have nine rooms ready to go.”

The organization was founded in 2016 with a small home in Lexington for female veterans. Later that year, it purchased the former Trapp Elementary School in Clark County and announced plans to convert it into a larger residential home. Once it opens, there will be classes to help the women prepare for life outside the military, and other services in a residential setting.

At this point, Abbott said the organization is ready to accept nine women … once the health situation is resolved.

Abbott said she is still looking for house mothers to live at the facility and help the women.

“I’d love to have a retired veteran or a widow of a veteran,” she said. “What they need to do is supervise: make sure they get up, fix their meals, do their chores and answer the phone.”

Abbott said she would like to see cottages built on the property for women and their children to reconnect and rebuild their relationships.

Since purchasing the school in 2016, the organization renovated much of the school and replaced the coal furnace and ventilation system in the school.

Clark County Public Schools closed the school at the end of the 2013-14 school year and consolidated the county elementary schools.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0051.

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