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Fisher Houses: Helping Veterans by Helping Their Families

In doing research for Jason Poole’s rebooter story, I learned about the Fisher House program. Fisher Houses provide temporary living accommodations for families of veterans receiving care at military and Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers. I’m pleased to provide this information about these facilities to help make them better known.

— Lee Callaway

Fisher HouseA Fisher House is a “home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. The homes are normally located within walking distance of the treatment facility or have transportation available. There are 38 Fisher Houses located on 18 military installations and nine VA medical centers.

Typically, the houses are 5,000+ to 16,000 square foot homes donated by Fisher House Foundation. Each house is designed to provide eight to 21 suites. All are professionally furnished and decorated in the tone and style of the local region. The houses can accommodate 16 to 42 family members. They feature a common kitchen, laundry facilities, spacious dining room and an inviting living room with library, and toys for children.

A Fisher House is a temporary residence and is not a treatment facility, hospice or counseling center. The program began in 1990, and has offered nearly 2-1/2 million days of lodging to more than 110,000 families.

Because members of the military and their families are stationed worldwide and must often travel great distances for specialized medical care, Fisher House Foundation donates "comfort homes". These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times - during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury.

Fisher House
Fisher House in at VA Hospital, Palo Alto, CA

There is at least one Fisher House at every major military medical center to assist families in need and to ensure that they are provided with the comforts of home in a supportive environment. Annually, the Fisher House program serves more than 7,000 families, and has made available more than 1,500,000 days of lodging to family members since the program originated in 1990.

Fisher Houses are given to the U. S. Government as gifts. Military service secretaries and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the homes. The Fisher House Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code, builds new houses, and assists in the coordination of private support and encourages public support for the homes.

For further information about the program, volunteering or to make a tax deductible gift:

Contact: Fisher House Foundation, Inc., 1401 Rockville Pike, Suite 600, Rockville, MD 20852. Phone: (888) 294-8560. Fax: (301) 294-8562. E-Mail: info@fisherhouse.org. Internet: www.fisherhouse.org

Last revised May 2008

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