Special center for female veterans opened in Philadelphia

Officials have opened the first Philadelphia center to provide services specifically for female veterans.

Coordinator Aronda Smith, who served in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm, told The Philadelphia Inquirer on Tuesday that the facility will provide opportunity and support for women vets.

It's on the ground floor of the five-story nonprofit Veterans Multi-Service Center, which has provided services to male veterans since 1980 and to female veterans since the mid-1990s.

Smith said services and workshops will cover areas such as health and wellness, credit counseling, networking, employment counseling, parenting after combat, yoga, and home ownership.

She said "military sexual trauma" has become a significant problem among female veterans, who make up 3 to 5 percent of the more than 82,000 veterans in Philadelphia.