Aura Foundation helps homeless women veterans
Alyce Knaflich knows how to rise up from the ashes and create a new life: She’s done it time and again. Knaflich was homeless for nine years, wandering and wondering where her next meal would be coming from, never knowing for sure where she’d rest her head.
“When you’re homeless, you don’t have time to think about goals and dreams and schemes,” she says. “Every day becomes another battle for simple survival.”
But battling doesn’t scare this military veteran, and these days, Knaflich is dreaming big. In 2009, she began volunteering for causes that mattered to her, particularly helping women, veterans and homeless people. In 2014, she created the Aura Foundation, a nonprofit that serves homeless women veterans in Buncombe, Haywood and Henderson counties. Two years later, the group bought a building on Meadowbrook Terrace in Hendersonville to house the dream: a place women veterans can call home while they find the resources needed to regain independence.
“Everything takes time and money,” Knaflich explains. “It takes time to get approved for disability, and about everybody gets denied at least once. Appeals can take more than a year. It takes time to get set up with long-term housing, to be able to get money together for rent deposits, to get the money for utility deposits. I want a place where women veterans can find peace while they pull their plans together.”