Middle Tennessee Fisher House – a home away from home for veterans and their families
By Carole Robinson, Staff Writer
In mid-September the Fisher House Foundation began construction in Murfreesboro on the first Fisher House in Tennessee and is scheduled to open in 2013. The Fisher House program is a unique public-private partnership supporting members of the military when they most need support.
Military families can count on Fisher House to be a place to find refuge and solace when their world is turned upside down, Fisher House Foundation President David Coker said at the ground breaking. Fisher House replicates the sense of community during a stressful time.
The 10,000 square foot facility will provide a home away from home for Middle Tennessee military families who need to be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury.
There are 12 suites, each with a private bedroom and handicap accessible bathroom. Families will share common areas that include a kitchen, communal living, dining and family rooms, a patio and library – and toys are available for children.
This new house joins a network of 58 Fisher Homes that have a daily capacity of 657 families and operate in the United States and Germany. The homes are built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers and range in size from 5,000 to 16,800 square feet. The Foundation ensures there is no fee to stay in a Fisher House, “Because a family’s love is the best medicine.”
Once the homes are constructed, they are donated to the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2011 more than 17,000 families made a Fisher House their temporary home somewhere in the United States and Germany.
This new facility is being built on the grounds of the Veterans Administration Tennessee Valley Healthcare System in Murfreesboro and is supported locally by the Tennessee Fisher House Board of Directors. For several years, veterans and the community worked tirelessly to make this project a reality.
“This demonstrates their commitment to veterans and their families,” Coker said.
The Fisher House Foundation also manages the Hero Miles Program and the Hotels for Heros program. Donated frequent flyer miles are used to bring family members to the bedside of their injured soldier. Donated hotel points allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers without charge. A grant program managed by the Foundation supports other military charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses and children of fallen and disabled veterans.
For more information about Fisher House, go to www.fisherhouse.org or call Andrea Lawrence, President of the Tennessee Fisher House Foundation, Inc.
Posted on: 11/21/2012