Maine's first Fisher House comes to Togus Medical Center

AUGUSTA, Maine. (WABI) - The Fisher House Foundation is dedicated to making sure veterans and military families have a comfortable place to stay while loved ones are receiving medical treatment.

Since 1991, we're told they have served more than 300,000 families. A new place in Augusta will help them with their mission.

Senator Susan Collins said, “This new Fisher House will stand as the testament of the gratitude that individual citizens have for the men and women who defend our freedoms."

A groundbreaking ceremony on the Togus Medical Center Campus Wednesday to welcome Maine’s first Fisher House.

President of the Fisher House Foundation, David Coker said, “This house will serve as a tangible symbol to our support, our love, and respect for all those that have selflessly served our country."

The Fisher House Foundation is dedicated to providing a place to stay for military and veterans' families at no cost.

Coker said, “It’s our duty to help provide an environment where families can focus solely on the healing process free from the financial worry of finding a place."

We're told once it's built, the new house will provide up to sixteen families with a place to stay while loved ones are receiving treatment at Togus. It’s expected to serve about 500 families each year.

Lawmakers and the Director of the VA Maine Healthcare System agreed it's important for loved ones receiving treatment to have their families close by.

“Let us also always remember the family members who served as military caregivers. They are America's heroes in civilian clothes,” said, Senator Susan Collins.

VA Maine Healthcare System Director, Ryan Lilly said, "Families are a big part of that. They're a big part of the healing process."

Because behind every service member or veteran, is their family.

Coker explained, “We also need to remember that every family has their own remarkable story. A family that buries burdens and make sacrifices, the average person has no concept of this vision."

It's anticipated construction will be finished in 2019.