PETERSBURG, Va. -- A Central Virginia woman who spent years overcoming personal challenges is now making it her mission to help other veterans.
Francine Williams is hoping to address the problem many aging and elderly veterans face with long-term care.
The Petersburg veteran is very transparent when it comes to the struggles she has faced in her life.
“In 2017 I hit rock bottom,” Williams said. “I had mental health issues. I was hospitalized three times.”
Once on the other side of her challenges, something tugged at her heart and she began volunteering at the VA.
Now she believes sharing her story can help others struggling through the same thing.
Williams, who has a special place in her heart for aging and elderly veterans, said she has seen too many of them deal with life obstacle after obstacle.
That let Williams to create the GNUS (God N US) Corporation, a business to assist veterans, as well as the nonprofit Genius Foundation.
“We help them. We feed them, we clean their houses and whatever they need, that’s what we do because all the veterans needs are different,” Williams said.
Williams said the group is able to house veterans as well.
“Now I have two homes in Petersburg, Virginia, and we’re going to expand more and more,” Williams explained. “We are at the point where we can now house up to 14 veterans. We have work to do. We have a lot of aging and elderly veterans.”
She poured a lot of love into getting these homes equipped and ready to provide long-term care.
"When you see the elderly population, the ones that were in the Vietnam war they’re not dying at 100, they’re here," she said. "They are living all around us."
And she wants them to know "somebody has their back."
"They have not been forgotten," Williams said.
Williams said the group’s services complement what veterans get at the VA. Her plan is to expand into surrounding counties in Virginia to assist the growing number of aging and elderly veterans.
Anyone interested in donating to their nonprofit to help veterans,can contact Williams at 571-921-7162. Click here to follow GNUS on Instagram.