On any given night, federal officials say, roughly 610,000 people in the United States don’t have roofs over their heads. Of those, some 144,000 are veterans. A rapidly growing portion of those is female.

Homelessness is just one of myriad issues facing female veterans, and it will be among the topics discussed March 7 during a free conference in Santa Monica.

The event, which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the local YWCA, aims to help women who have served in the military return to civilian life by steering them towards a variety of social and community services.

The YWCA has partnered with Santa Monica’s Commission on the Status of Women as well as the local chapter of the National Association of Black Military Women and the Quinn Research Center to host the seminar, which will run from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The conference, organized during Women’s History Month, will feature keynote speakers Barbara Ward, director of the Center for Minority Veterans, and Fatma Batuman, a Veterans Affairs women’s health medical director.

“We are eager to join the many organizations on Los Angeles’ Westside already serving veterans by launching programming targeted specifically to the needs of women veterans,” Julia Miele, executive director of the local YWCA, said in a news release.

The seminar will cover numerous topics, including affordable housing, job placement, legal aid, financial literacy, preventive health, nutrition and fitness — even artistic expression.

Representatives from Community Corporation of Santa Monica, Chrysalis, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Westside Family Health Center and the local police and fire departments will be on hand to share information and address veterans’ concerns.

“What is unique about this conference is the bringing together of a wide variety of local community organizations to facilitate sessions that address the most important needs of women veterans at this time,” Col. Irma Cooper, president of the local NABM chapter, said in the release.

The day will end with a panel discussion and follow-up with attendees regarding their specific needs and issues.

According to Carolyne Edwards of the Quinn Research Center, a foundation that keeps records of African-Americans who have lived in Santa Monica and Venice, information gathered from conference attendees could impact how local groups spend their time and resources to support female veterans in the future.

The YWCA is located at 2019 14th St., in Santa Monica.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

For more information, or to register, visit www.smywca.org or call (310) 452-3881.

Contact Jeff Goodman at 310-573-8351, jeff@www.smdp.com or on Twitter.

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