Palo Alto Daily News: Palo Alto VA procures second Fisher House

August 24, 2011
In The News

Rep. Eshoo helped lead the charge for a second Fisher House to be built at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.  Kristen Marschall, a staff writer for the Palo Alto Daily News, wrote about the second Fisher House and Rep. Eshoo's efforts to secure this vital new lodging for veterans and their families.  An excerpt is below:

On Tuesday, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki gave the Palo Alto campus his approval to build a second Fisher House. That, according to Palo Alto VA spokeswoman Kerri Childress, makes the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System only the second in the nation to have two such facilities, along with the Houston campus.

Officials were able to secure approval for the second facility with the help of Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, who also led the effort for the first Fisher House in 2004.

Childress said the Fisher House application requires backing from congressional leaders.

"(Eshoo) went, 'I'm on it! You only needed to ask,'" Childress said. "And we did this on a very short deadline."

Further action will be determined by the Fisher House Foundation in Rockville, Md., which will prioritize the funding for the 10 new homes that Shinseki approved, Childress said.

One Fisher House has been nothing short of a "godsend," she said, as more than 3,500 families have been able to stay for free across the street from their loved ones and not pay for the pricey hotels nearby.

Another plan in the works is the Defenders' Lodge -- a free "Hometel" for service members. Donated by the Pentagon Federal Credit Union, the lodge will be built on the left side of the current Fisher House, Childress said. A groundbreaking ceremony is set to take place on Sept. 16, which Shinseki will attend.

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