Larisa Troche is a world-travelled woman and an Air Force veteran. She was born in Japan, has lived in seven states, two Far Eastern countries and has visited four other countries. As the owner of The Larisa Group, providing real estate services under DavLin Properties, LLC; business management training and consulting services under J I Martin Business Services and personal development services under Laura J Personified, LLC, she is also the founder of Pink Passport Society which was created to help women achieve financial independence. Recently, Ms. Troche learned of the plight of homeless women veterans and established Passport Inn, a supportive transitional housing program designed to help meet the needs of homeless women veterans from counseling and life skills to job training.
Tell us about your life as a Veteran?
When I went into the Air Force right out of high school our country was at peace. In the military you receive the benefits of having connections and a safety net but after leaving the military your life changes because these benefits are no longer available. After serving for about six years I went directly into working for the Civil Service. I led a ‘regular’ life of work, college, marriage, raising a family and buying a home but for a lot of veterans now a ‘regular’ life is non-existent.
What has been your journey since leaving the military?
I worked throughout the federal and public sector in the Bay Area. During this time I began to discover that there were a large number of homeless women veterans. In March 2010, there was a segment on homeless veterans that caused me some concern. Some of the women that come home after being involved in two wars, did not have a home of their own, this was unacceptable to me. Where are the resources for our women veterans? How are they allowed to fall through the cracks once returning home from the military? Passport Inn was born as a supportive transitional housing program for homeless women veterans.
Tell us about your program, Passport Inn?
Passport Inn is a Transitional Housing Program for Homeless Women Veterans that was created to make a difference in the lives of women. The program will focus on personal development that will allow women to become financially self-sufficient and obtain their own quality permanent housing. We divide our 12-18 month program into two phases 1) preparation skills and 2) employment and housing. We give them an assessment to determine their needs and build upon the basic job training they received while in the military. We also provide emotional support to assess what caused their homelessness and help them make a successful transition to civilian life.
What do you need to move forward with your program?
We need financial support and a mixed use space (commercial and residential) to house our women. While in the program our women will be self-sufficient due to their potential eligibility of veterans benefits and other social health programs.
What is your closing statement for our readers?
Women veterans are in need of services targeted specifically for women (as opposed to co-ed or designed for men) Passport Inn is a comprehensive program providing our participants with a greater likelihood of success because it is for women only and because it is all-inclusive. If you would like to help, we would be most appreciative of internet research or grant writing assistance. Our primary request is a home for Passport Inn. If there is a building owner willing to lease or donate 4,000-5,000 square feet of an apartment building please contact us at www.pinkpassport.org or [email protected].
Have a great story contact Vernita Naylor www.jabezenterprisegroup.com?