In August 2016, a brand new Dodge Grand Caravan, valued at about $25,000, was donated to the Milwaukee VA Fisher House. Fisher House is a national program that provides military families housing so they can be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury. (It’s like a Ronald McDonald House for Veterans)
The vehicle was provided through the generous support and work of community partners, including:
Rotary Club of Milwaukee Community Trust
Herb Kohl Philanthropies
Ewald Automotive Group
Emil Ewald Family Foundation, Inc.
Milwaukee Armed Services Committee
Milwaukee North Shore Rotary Club
The beautiful, new Milwaukee VA Fisher House which opened in April 2016 accomodates 16 families. It is located at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center (Milwaukee VA Medical Center). From receiving its first guests on April 25, 2016 to the end of December, 2016, 460 families were served at the Fisher House.
The needs for a Fisher House are significant. Veterans from 26 states travel to the Milwaukee VA Medical Center for treatment at the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Treatment Center. Overall, approximately 50,000 veterans receive treatment at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center.
Families who stay at the Fisher House must live more than fifty miles from Milwaukee and show a financial need in order to qualify for accommodations. In many cases, the primary wage earner in the family is the veteran who is hospitalized, resulting in significant financial burdens being placed on families. Families often have to choose between being near their loved one being treated at the hospital and remaining at home to provide some financial and emotional stability for the family. To reduce some of the financial burden, accommodations at the Fisher House are provided at no cost to qualifying families because having family members near the hospitalized veteran is good medicine and contributes to their recovery.