Graphic of nonprofit Final Salute logo

Nonprofit Spotlight: Final Salute

Final Salute, Inc. is a nonprofit on a mission to provide homeless women Veterans with safe and suitable housing. The organization works to identify and meet the unique needs of homeless women Veterans and their children.


Women Veterans are now the fastest-growing demographic of the homeless Veteran population in the US, based on government reports. Here are a few things to know, according to VA research:

  • Women Veterans are more than twice as likely to become homeless than civilian women.
  • Each year, 1-2% of all women Veterans and 13-15% of women Veterans living in poverty will experience homelessness.
  • Homelessness increased among women Veterans by 2% between 2018-2019.
  • Male Veteran homelessness decreased by 3% in the same period.

Some of the factors that contribute to homelessness for women after military service include military sexual trauma, intimate partner violence, post-traumatic stress disorder, legal trouble, ineligibility for Veteran’s benefits, divorce, and lack of family support.


Homelessness can look very different for women. While men are usually on their own when homeless, women often have children with them. It’s also easier for men to access emergency shelters and short term transitional housing than it is for women. In fact, these programs are often geared specifically for men.

The result? Many of the programs and facilities available for homeless Veterans are not equipped to provide a safe environment for women or children. This leaves far less resources to help women Veterans stay in their homes.

There are even more serious implications for women Veterans with children since legal definitions and official policies can leave them in an impossible situation. Veteran mothers struggling to keep their housing are often forced to choose between identifying as homeless or staying with their children. And that is a choice no mother should ever have to make.

Final Salute has firsthand experience with just how broad this issue can be. Of the thousands of women Veterans who have come to Final Salute for housing or emergency financial assistance, 70% are single mothers.


The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) track Veteran homelessness. While stats from these government entities provide an important picture, it barely scratches the surface when it comes to the depth of this issue for women Veterans.

As an example, none of HUD’s four categories of homelessness include doubling up or couch surfing. According to Merriam-Webster, couch surfing is defined as staying overnight with different hosts who provide basic accommodations for free.

The 2016 American Community Survey found more than 4.6 million people living “doubled up” or couch surfing with family or friends. Couch surfing was identified as one of the most common prior living situations for people who became homeless. With safe, accessible resources less available for women with children, couch surfing is a common situation for women Veterans who are at risk of homelessness.

The VA also tracks Veteran homelessness in a variety of ways. But their numbers don’t account for the fact that as many as 87% of women Veterans don’t use the VA for healthcare services. This means nearly two million women are not being surveyed by the VA for homelessness.

It is primarily men who use the services and programs that the VA tracks for Veteran homelessness. This creates a skewed picture of the true state of homelessness for women Veterans. For this reason, Final Salute believes that homeless or precariously housed women Veterans are undercounted by a factor of 10 or even 100.


Final Salute is committed to identifying and assisting at-risk women Veterans who fall through the cracks. The organization takes a three-pronged approach to addressing issues associated with the homelessness of women Veterans:

  • Awareness—Showing the American people that homelessness among women Veterans is on the rise and their support needs are immediate.
  • Assistance—Providing housing and supportive services to homeless women Veterans and aiding in the prevention of homelessness for at-risk women Veterans.
  • Aspiration—Instilling in women Veterans that their situations are temporary and their goals are still achievable.

The H.O.M.E. Program—Housing Outreach Mentorship and Encouragement

This program focuses on integrating women Veterans into their local communities with safe and suitable residential areas. Final Salute collaborates with resource partners to offer targeted support services that help women Veterans reach their goals.

The S.A.F.E. Program—Savings Assessment and Financial Education

The purpose of S.A.F.E. is to prevent homelessness by easing financial hardships. This program also provides financial education on saving, budgeting and living on a fixed income.

Next Uniform

For women Veterans and women transitioning out of the military, this event provides an image boost with professional business attire, dress shoes, makeovers, image consulting and professional headshots for a LinkedIn profile.


Jas Boothe is the founder of Final Salute. She is a Chicago native, disabled Army combat Veteran and cancer survivor. Boothe spent 17 years in the Army advocating for Soldiers and their families. While preparing for an Iraq deployment in 2005, she found herself facing two devastating events that would change the course of her life. In August, she and her young son lost everything they owned in Hurricane Katrina. The following month she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of head, neck and throat cancer.

The Army medically discharged Boothe after her cancer diagnosis. The sudden transition left her scrambling to cover several vital needs at once: complex, full-time medical care; employment; and housing for herself and her son.

When researching her options, Boothe was unable to find assistance for women Veterans with children. The Army told her to try welfare or social services. In her greatest moment of need, Boothe came to the painful realization that America had forgotten about the women who had served honorably alongside their male counterparts.

After extensive cancer treatment, Booth was able to stay in the Army Reserve and later took a job with the Army National Guard. But the experience affected her deeply. Boothe was determined to make sure her sister Veterans would have the resources she didn’t during a significant time of need.


Boothe’s experience led her to found Final Salute, Inc in 2010. While Final Salute is based in the Washington DC Metro area, the organization has assisted more than 7,000 women Veterans and their children in 32 states and territories. They have provided financial relief and resources for 6,598 people; employment transition support for nearly 1,500; and more than 17,000 days of transitional housing.

Final Salute, Inc is a non-profit filling a critical gap in services within the Veteran space. Every day, they help homeless women Veterans and their children find safety, stability and hope. Visit their website to learn more or join the Final Salute conversation on Facebook and Twitter.


From now through the end of November 2022, a portion of all sales in the Lady Vet Shop will be donated directly to Final Salute to help further their important work for homeless women Veterans. Shop with us this November and help make a difference in this critically underserved population!

Lady Vet is supportive of nonprofit organizations doing the best work to address the most pressing issues women Veterans face. If you know of a relevant nonprofit we should be highlighting, please reach out to for consideration.

Lady Vet sub-logo LV in a red circle.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop