CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - More than 50,000 veteran families live along South Carolina's coast. Thanks to a special community partnership between the Fisher Foundation and the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, those families will have a home away from home while loved ones are treated at the VA.
A special groundbreaking Friday commemorated the construction for Charleston Fisher House, a free, temporary home for patients' families.
The Fisher House Foundation has built 71 houses in the US and abroad. In 2016, VA Fisher Houses helped nearly 23,000 families worldwide, saving more than $3 million in lodging costs.
"It's one thing when the government or people in the VA or other agencies, reach out and serve and help our veterans," Deputy Secretary Sloan D. Gibson with the Department of Veterans Affairs said. "It's something else entirely when the American people do it."
Gibson said the Fisher House is just one way to show thanks to those who've served and sacrificed.
"Every time a veteran or veteran family walks in the door, that's going to be a message of thanks from the people of Charleston,"
The 150 Wentworth St. property was purchased through private funding, spearheaded by Trux and Durbin Emerson, and then donated to the Department of Veterans Affairs. The current structure will be torn down to make way for a 16-suite home with a common kitchen, laundry facility, dining room and living room. Fisher House will even include toys for children.
"Fisher House Charleston is a gift from our community and Fisher House Foundation to the Veterans that we care for at this VA," Dir. Scott Isaacks said. "This groundbreaking will be a major milestone and we are all looking forward to opening the doors of the Charleston Fisher House as quickly as possible."
Fisher House is set to open in 2018.
Copyright 2016 WCSC. All rights reserved.