The Fisher House Foundation – Free Medical Housing For Families of Military & Veterans

The Fisher House Foundation is a nonprofit organization that builds comfort homes where military & veterans families can stay free of charge, while a loved one is receiving medical treatment.
Advertising Disclosure.

Advertiser Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone. This article may contain links from our advertisers. For more information, please see our Advertising Policy.

Fisher House Foundation

The Fisher House Foundation is a nonprofit organization that builds comfort homes where military & veterans families can stay free of charge, while a loved one is receiving medical treatment. Families and service members stay at these homes free of charge. Fisher Houses are located on or near many major military installations and VA medical centers across the world.

The size of each Fisher House varies greatly, depending on the size of the installation. Most have between eight and 21 suites with both private and shared rooms. Guests at Fisher House share a common kitchen, laundry, dining area, and living room. Family members can stay for the duration of medical treatment and up to three years, depending on each case.

Since the program was founded in 1990, the Fisher House Foundation has saved military and veteran families an estimated $500 million in out-of-pocket costs for lodging and transportation relating to medical care.

This international, non-profit organization was established to improve the quality of life for members of our military community who require medical treatment. Other Quality of Life programs include the Hero Miles and Hotels for Heroes programs and ongoing assistance to existing Fisher Houses, scholarships, and individual support to members of the military community during times of crisis.

History of Fisher House

Fisher Brothers is a real estate firm in New York City, founded in 1915 by Martin Fisher, later joined by his brothers Larry and Zachary. Fast forward to 1990, second-generation partner Zachary Fisher was made aware of the need for military families to have access to free lodging while service members were undergoing medical care. The issue was raised by Pauline Trost, wife of Admiral Carlisle Trost, former Chief of Naval Operations.

The Fishers entered into a public-private partnership with the US government, which allowed Fisher Brothers to develop and build on government-owned land. After construction was complete, the home was “gifted” back to the military to operate in perpetuity. Zachary wanted to ensure that military families could have a home away from home while managing medical care. Until his death in 1999, Zachary continued to use his own money to build Fisher Houses.

During government shutdowns, the Fisher House program has stepped up to cover death gratuity payments amounting to $100,000 to families of service members killed in action.

In 2019, Fisher Houses across the world served more than 30,000 military families, making them a valuable resource to the military community.

Who Is Eligible to Use a Fisher House?

The commander or director of each medical center where Fisher Houses are located is responsible for establishing eligibility, priority, and selection criteria for reserving a room. To determine if your medical visit qualifies you to stay at a nearby Fisher House, contact the house directly.

There is no fee or charge to stay at a Fisher House. All room fees for military families are paid for by the Fisher House Foundation.

Fisher House has received some congressionally appropriated funds to cover the construction of new houses. However, once the home is gifted to the military, its only source of revenue is voluntary donations from individuals and organizations and from the income generated by a congressionally approved trust fund maintained by each branch of the military. Houses at VA medical centers receive support from US tax dollars.

Houses

The first Fisher House opened in 1991 at what is now known as Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The following year, six additional locations were opened across the country. There are over 85 houses in operation in the US and Germany, as well as an existing partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity in the UK.

Future Fisher Houses are highlighted on the foundation’s website. The decision on where to build is primarily based on need and approval from the board of directors.

Ways to Get Involved

Fisher House is always looking for volunteers to help run their houses. For more information and a complete listing of local houses can be found here. Each house generally has an established Amazon Wish List that can be found on the House info page. Fisher House Foundation offers scholarships for military children, military spouses, and a Heroes’ Legacy Scholarship program. Additionally, the Hero Miles and Hotel for Heroes programs also offer support to the military community when medical disaster strikes.

If in-person volunteering is not possible for you, online options are available. You can assign Fisher House as your Amazon charity through the Amazon Smile program.

Fisher House is one of many amazing military and veteran nonprofits whose mission is to support the military community so they are ready to serve.

Get Instant Access
FREE Weekly Updates! Enter your information to join our mailing list.

About Jessica Evans

Jessica Evans is a Cincinnati native who gets the chance to reinvent home every few years. Most recently, she lived in a Bavarian forest. Now, she's on the way to establishing roots in Washington DC. Evans has an MFA from Spalding and has over a decade of professional writing experience. She mainly writes within the military and wellness communities. Evans is also a mentor for Veteran's Writing Project, a nonprofit organization that connects veterans with writers eager to tell their stories. Evans is a previous Pushcart nominee, a fiction reader for literary magazines, and hosts a monthly writing group. When she's not writing, she's training for competition. Connect with her on twitter @jesssica__evans.

Featured on: Jessica's writing has been featured in the following publications: We Are the Mighty, Reserve + National Guard Magazine, Military Families Magazine, Lincoln Military Housing, Hire GI, and many other publications.

Reader Interactions

Leave A Comment:

Comments:

About the comments on this site:

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

The Military Wallet is a property of Three Creeks Media. Neither The Military Wallet nor Three Creeks Media are associated with or endorsed by the U.S. Departments of Defense or Veterans Affairs. The content on The Military Wallet is produced by Three Creeks Media, its partners, affiliates and contractors, any opinions or statements on The Military Wallet should not be attributed to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, the Dept. of Defense or any governmental entity. If you have questions about Veteran programs offered through or by the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, please visit their website at va.gov. The content offered on The Military Wallet is for general informational purposes only and may not be relevant to any consumer’s specific situation, this content should not be construed as legal or financial advice. If you have questions of a specific nature consider consulting a financial professional, accountant or attorney to discuss. References to third-party products, rates and offers may change without notice.

Advertising Notice: The Military Wallet and Three Creeks Media, its parent and affiliate companies, may receive compensation through advertising placements on The Military Wallet; For any rankings or lists on this site, The Military Wallet may receive compensation from the companies being ranked and this compensation may affect how, where and in what order products and companies appear in the rankings and lists. If a ranking or list has a company noted to be a “partner” the indicated company is a corporate affiliate of The Military Wallet. No tables, rankings or lists are fully comprehensive and do not include all companies or available products.

Editorial Disclosure: Editorial content on The Military Wallet may include opinions. Any opinions are those of the author alone, and not those of an advertiser to the site nor of  The Military Wallet.