Reporting Edgar Linares
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Fisher House in Minneapolis is called “a home, away from home” for families of wounded military members and veterans.
On Thursday, a second Fisher House opened across the street from the VA Medical Center.
“I’m following my uncle’s footsteps,” said Kenneth Fisher, Chairman of the Fisher House Foundation. “My late uncle Zachary Fisher is the founder of this program.”
The first Fisher House was built in 1991 and had 5,000 square feet and eight rooms.
“Back in that day the need wasn’t as great as it is today,” said Fisher.
The new home is 16,800 square feet and consists of 20 suites, each with private a bathroom and kitchen. The home helps families like Bill Maxwell’s. He’s Vietnam Vet from Ladysmith, Wis.
NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports
“It’s unbelievable. Most veterans are on a fixed income,” said Maxwell. “It’s really hard to plan ahead on where you’re going to stay — who you’re going to be with. … Coming here it’s just like going home.”
Maxwell says the home has saved his family thousands of dollars. He’s staying at the original Fisher House with his wife Terri and their two children.
“It’s just like being at home, it’s just a bigger family,” said Terri Maxwell. “We all become family members here. It helps a lot that we don’t have the added stress of bills of a hotel room or outside food. They supply everything and anything anyone could imagine.”
More than 142,000 families have stayed in more than 50 Fisher Houses nationwide and in Germany. It has saved service families more than $165 million in lodging and transportation costs.
This newest home is the 54th Fisher House.