Social workers and community center team up in support of female veterans

Her hat pretty much said it all:

"She shines, female veterans."

"Because we do shine, even though we're not in the spotlight of a lot of organizations, but we do shine and we're here to stay," said Alexis Derriso.

They may be here to stay, but it may not feel that way some times. In fact, most services that provide for veterans aren't outfitted for women who served in the military - instead being designed more for their male counterparts. But that doesn't diminish the time they served or the need for services for them.

Facing similar problems of homelessness, addiction, unemployment and a host of other issues, a picnic was put on Thursday to address just that.

"I hear from a lot of female veterans that there are no services," said Thasha Murphy, a clinical social worker. "Any veteran that finds themselves in need of housing, they've been evicted, they need services with car repairs and things like that, we can outsource them to other services in the community and it is for women and men as well."

Murphy works at the Veterans Community Resource & Referral Center (VCRRC) in Detroit. Organized under the Veterans Administration, they cater many services to women, filling a badly-needed and often forgotten gap.

And that means offering clothing and hairstyling and manicures for women veterans. 

"I'm a veteran and I came to support and I came to show up because I know what it's like to have to make my way in this system," said Leslie Roberson, an Army veteran. 

"We serve side-by-side, it's just a way of making a recognition that female veterans are just as important as the male veterans," said Derriso.

And those services are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week at the VCRRC.

If you'd like to get in touch with them, you can find them at 301 Piquette Ave. Detroit, as well as at 313-576-1580.