This is a big week as we officially break ground on the much-anticipated veterans home in Bemidji. A ceremony will take place 10 a.m. Thursday at the building site (920 Anne Street NW, Bemidji) and I look forward to the turning over of those first shovels of dirt.
Years of hard work by too many people in our community to name have gone into this project that will allow us to better serve those who have served us. This veterans home was a top priority of mine as I joined the Legislature and I am proud to have played a role in securing the state funding allowing this facility to become reality, scheduled to open in mid-2023.
Thursday's event will include Bemidji residents, elected officials, local business and civic leaders, Veterans Service Organization representatives, donors and project supporters. The 72-resident skilled nursing facility is being built on a 15-acre site that was donated by Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota. It will feature private baths and will be split into four “neighborhoods” to promote a warm, community feeling. Public spaces will include a small coffee shop/café, theater/meeting room, dining room, meditation room/chapel and club room for entertaining family and friends.
The groundbreaking festivities will include refreshments and music while we learn more about the construction timeline and a wide range of employment and residential living opportunities that will be available on this new campus. Additionally, guests will find information about current veterans programs, services and healthcare options.
This celebration honors years of collaboration, fundraising and thoughtful planning for a new facility to serve our region, allowing veterans to receive the care they need closer to home. I sincerely thank everyone for their efforts. I also thank the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for providing federal funding to support this home in Bemidji.
Video of Thursday's groundbreaking can be streamed at the Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs Facebook page.