Robin’s Home recognized for aiding women veterans
Eric Freehling Eagle Staff Writer
May 1, 2021 Local News
Robin’s Home, the residence at North Elm and East Pearl streets providing supportive housing for women veterans, has received the Vivian’s Outreach to Women award from the Daughters of the American Revolution. The DAR, through Vivian’s Outreach to Women, aids organizations/shelters helping women veterans in need of medical, educational, child care, housing, clothing and food aid or other needs consistent with assisting women veterans to become self-sufficient in their communities. The General Richard Butler Chapter of the DAR announced Robin’s Home is one of three shelters in the United States to receive the 2021 VOW award. Robin’s Home, founded by Mary Chitwood, an Army veteran, provides a full continuum of care for homeless, unstably housed and low-income female veterans and their children and serves women veterans in seven counties: Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Lawrence, Mercer, Allegheny and Erie. Donna Croft, the General Richard Butler Chapter vice-regent, who is also on the board at Robin’s Home, proposed the facility as a potential recipient of the award and spearheaded the successful application. Chitwood, who learned of the honor Thursday night, said the $40,000 award comes at an opportune time. “We can use the money on operating expenses, which is great because our donations have significantly dropped due to COVID,” Chitwood said. “We will use some of the money on in-house vocational programs to teach them skills to obtain employment. ”Chitwood founded Robin’s Home July 1, 2019. At present, three women veterans are living in the house, and 12 veterans have lived there since its founding. Chitwood, who graduated from Butler High School in 1998, had been working with nonprofits that helped men who are veterans, when she saw a need for temporary housing to help women veterans get back on their feet. “We work to stabilize them here and send them back to the town they came from,” she said. The average stay of a woman veteran at Robin’s Home is about six months, she added. The General Richard Butler Chapter is the link between DAR and Robin’s Home, according to Martha Eberhardt, regent general of the chapter. “We have had a wonderful relationship with Robin’s Home since its inception, with our members donating their time as well as financial assistance,” Eberhardt said. Eberhardt said the application was submitted late last fall.