Butler VA Health Care System
Monday, April 27, 2020U.S. Army Veteran Mary Chitwood worked with a variety of non-profit organizations as a Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Case Manager. Through SSVF, Mary assisted over 200 Veterans with housing needs, employment opportunities, and other supportive services. While working in this role, she saw a need in our local Butler community: a housing program just for women Veterans and their children.
Mary is the Founder and Executive Director of Robin’s Home, the first and only home specifically for women Veterans with and without children in Butler County. Robin’s Home provides supportive housing services to the five counties covered by the Butler VA Health Care System—Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Lawrence, and Mercer Counties.
“For approximately three years I volunteered my time to get Robin’s Home started. I did everything from demolishing rooms and meeting with social workers for referrals to attending zoning meetings,” said Mary. “The house we purchased for the program had been vacant for over 20 years and needed extensive renovations. Today the home is a beautiful, comfortable, and safe six-bedroom home.”
Robin's Home officially opened in July 2019 and since then has provided services to nine homeless women Veterans.
“One of the things I learned is that many women Veterans give up custody of their children, temporarily, while they do their best to secure housing. Since Robin's Home is able to accept children, women Veterans do not have to make that hard choice,” said Mary.
Mary is currently the Executive Director of Robin’s Home while also maintaining a full-time job as a Mobile Psychiatric Rehabilitation Case Worker and serving as an excellent role model for her daughter. Additionally, she is a member at American Legion Post 778, a lifetime member of Disabled American Veterans Chapter 64, a mentor for Butler County’s Veterans Treatment Court, and a member of Soroptimist International (Butler County).
Like Mary, VA is committed to ending homelessness among Veterans. Learn more: www.va.gov/homeless.
Robin’s Home is named after Mary’s friend, Robin Arnold, a fellow U.S. Army Veteran who served in Support of Operation Desert Storm. Robin was 100% VA Service Connected for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Robin passed away on January 27, 2017 from complications of surgery.