Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-08-05
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Catrina Howard talks veteran life, founding female veteran housing project
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2019-02-05

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


U.S. Navy veteran Catrina Howard's journey in the military and into veteran activism began after she graduated from Roosevelt High School in Chicago's Albany Park.

"I was not sure if I wanted to attend college, so I decided to join the armed forces," said Howard. "My neighbor joined the Navy and convinced me that I would enjoy it more than any other branch. She said I would travel and see how the rest of the world lives."

Howard served as an engineman, maintaining the ship's emergency diesel generator, refrigeration and cooling systems while also being a safety team member. During her four years in the Navy, she was home-ported in the United Kingdom and was able to visit Italy, France, Norway, Portugal and Canada during her off-duty days/weeks.

Over the next 20 years, Howard worked as an assembler/inspector at Ford Motor Company and stationary and building engineer for Chicago Public Schools ( CPS ).

"Working at CPS had its ups and downs," said Howard. "It was very humbling to be in an education environment as an adult. I worked with dynamic teachers and supportive staff who wore many hats including being mother/father figures in just about every community.

"My position was very demanding and challenging during CPS' financial crisis. It was an interesting experience being there while many schools were being closed and teachers were fired/laid off. Parents had to make tough choices while CPS practically uprooted many support systems for Chicago's under-served communities. This was one of the reasons why I decided to move on to other work opportunities."

During her final years at CPS, Howard got her undergraduate degree in project management from American Intercontinental University and later got a master's degree in public administration from Keller Graduate School of Management.

Currently, Howard works as the Chicago Family Health Center's facilities manager where she ensures that the clinics are structurally sound and meet governmental regulations. Chicago Family Health Center provides healthcare to underserved South Side communities.

When Howard is not working at her day job, she can be found running Saving Another Female Enlistee ( SAFE )—a 501( c )( 3 ) not-for-profit charitable/patriotic organization created to provide adequate and affordable housing that she founded in 2013.

"Some of my Navy sisters and brothers put together a reunion about 10 years ago," said Howard. "During the gathering, a group of us women were discussing our experiences while serving in the Navy. It was very shocking to discover that most of the women had been violated and sexually harassed while serving. A few of our shipmates struggled with drugs and alcohol addiction as they suffered in silence. This conversation led me to create SAFE where our primary goal is to encourage, and assist as needed, women veterans in accessing the benefits they are entitled to. More recently, we have helped homeless women veterans find housing and other support services."

One of the ways Howard raises awareness and money for SAFE is through fundraisers and other events. These include "Wine, Cheese and Massage" events where they invite guest speakers to talk about mental, physical and financial health and holistic wellness.

"We also network with other organizations that address health, employment, training and housing/homelessness issues," said Howard.

For each of the past three years, SAFE has held an annual LGBTQ veterans meet and greet event at Jeffrey Pub. Howard said the organizaion is planning the fourth annual event, to be held sometime this spring.

The brainchild of the LGBTQ event was a good friend of Howard's, Helena Wilson. They decided to hold these events at Jeffrey Pub because it is the oldest Black gay bar in the country.

"I was thinking, what a way to show my appreciation of this historic venue with another memorable event," said Howard. "We reached out to the owner of the bar and they opened their doors without reservation to assist in creating a space for LGBTQ veterans to meet."

Howard is seeking input from fellow LGBTQ veterans on this upcoming event. She explained that especially in this current political climate it is important for LGBTQ veterans to be recognized for the work they did to protect the United States even when they had to hid their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

"Working with fellow veterans is an honor and responsibility I take seriously," said Howard. "Vet to vet experiences remind me of the good and bad times we had while serving."

See safeenlistee.org/ for more information or to get involved with the upcoming LGBTQ event.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Local lesbian couple celebrate 50 years together 2020-08-05 - When Alice Cozad and Linda Young met each other as freshmen at the University of Iowa they knew almost instantly that they would ...


Gay News

BOOKS Yvonne Zipter: Looking at Chicagoan's life, poetry collection 2020-08-05 - Writer Yvonne Zipter nurtures nature and other ideas in her new book of poetry Kissing the Long Face of the Greyhound. Zipter ...


Gay News

Sky end Mystics' undefeated season 2020-08-02 - On Aug. 1, the Chicago Sky ended the Washington Mystics' status as the WNBA's lone undefeated team by stopping them 88-86. Among other ...


Gay News

Chicago Sky players to donate $10 to social justice for every point scored 2020-07-28 - CHICAGO — The Chicago Sky players will donate $10 for every point team scored, $100 for every win, and $50 for any loss ...


Gay News

DeGeneres' show being investigated over racism, other claims (UPDATE) 2020-07-28 - The Ellen DeGeneres Show is reportedly being investigated following multiple allegations of its "toxic work environment," Yahoo! reported. Staff members recently spoke out ...


Gay News

HBO to air 'Seeing America with Megan Rapinoe' Aug. 1 2020-07-27 - HBO Sports will air Seeing America with Megan Rapinoe—a conversation hosted by out women's soccer star Megan Rapinoe—on Saturday, Aug. 1, 9-9:30 p.m. ...


Gay News

Chicago Sky come back to down Vegas 2020-07-27 - On July 26, the Chicago Sky ( 1-0 ) staged a comeback to defeat the Las Vegas Aces ( 0-1 ) 88-86 in ...


Gay News

Red Stars stopped in championship match 2020-07-27 - The Chicago Red Stars fell to the Houston Dash 2-0 in the NWSL ( National Women's Soccer League ) Challenge Cup Championship on ...


Gay News

NUNN ON ONE TV: Ashley Romans bites into juicy role on AMC series 'NOS4A2' 2020-07-26 - Based on Joe Hill's novel of the same name, the AMC series NOS4A2 spins a vampire's tale in unexpected directions. Out actor ...


Gay News

HUD may reverse protections for homeless transgender people accessing shelters 2020-07-23 - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today released a proposed rule that aims to revise the Equal Access rule, which requires ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.