Tour and service day to build garden for women veterans

Annabelle’s Place Tour & Garden Build

On May 10, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Greater Cincinnati joined glaserworks for a tour and service day at Annabelle’s Place – a new 12-unit supportive housing community in North College Hill developed by Volunteers of America to help meet the housing needs of female veterans of the US Military.

Members of CREW Cincinnati, Glaserworks, Volunteers of America (VOA) Greater OH and Home Depot Foundation spent the afternoon building raised garden beds with and for local Women Veterans.

The garden will provide fresh vegetables and herbs on the property, promoting health and wellness for the women. As Navy Veteran and Annabelle’s Place resident Jevette explained, “the garden is also for building community here; bringing the women together spending time outdoors will help those of us who struggle with Depression.”

Home Depot provided all garden materials, including raised bed kits, soil and plants. CREW Cincinnati Outreach donated $500 to VOA Greater Ohio for the women of Annabelle’s Place.

To start the day Phil Schneider, Director of Program Operations at Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio, described the organization’s mission and the need for affordable housing that women veterans face in our community. Phil explained that Annabelle’s Place is the first project of its kind in our region.

Then glaserworks Associate Sari Lehtinen spoke to volunteers about the special design considerations made to meet the unique needs of women veterans. Sari led small groups on tours of the new housing development.

“We designed the apartment units to be highly functional, peaceful and manageable so the women don’t feel overwhelmed,” Sari describes, “We wanted these buildings to convey a sense of openness, not isolation, while providing the residents choices of privacy in varying degrees.”

As one volunteer observed, “The development fits naturally into the neighborhood and feels ‘at home’ on the street. It does not stick out as institutional.”

The event was organized by Erin Joyner, VOA Community Outreach Coordinator and Samantha Brockfield, Director of Marketing & Business Development at glaserworks and CREW Outreach event chair.

After the garden was completed, volunteers closed out the day with Happy Hour at Marty’s Hops & Vines in College Hill.