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Michigan Veteran Homes - History
Who we are.
Michigan Veteran Homes, housed within the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, provides long-term skilled nursing care for veterans (and eligible family members) through a federal-state partnership with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
WE HAVE A HISTORY OF BRINGING MORE VALUE TO VETERANS
Today, state veteran homes represent one of the largest systems of long-term care providers in the U.S. Across the country (and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico), there are more than 150 homes and 30,000 beds – all welcoming those in need of skilled nursing care, domiciliary care and adult day healthcare.
HERE'S HOW IT ALL STARTED
The Michigan Veterans' Facility Act authorizes the establishment of veterans' homes within the state
Following the Civil War, legislation called for the establishment of a Michigan Soldiers Home, with the goal of providing housing, medical and nursing care to veterans.
The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans is established
On 90 acres of land, experts built three main buildings, 19 additional buildings and a 5,000-grave cemetery. Over the following decades, the Grand Rapids Home would experience changes in membership, focus and physical structure. By the 1970s, the Home’s focus would shift to the provision of nursing care.
The D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans is established
With the addition of service men and women who served in the Vietnam War, the 1970s and early 1980s saw growth within the Michigan veteran population. To meet this growing need, a second home was opened in Marquette. Using the former St. Mary’s Hospital, this four-story building now occupies an entire city block.
Transfer of Governance
The two homes are transferred from the former Michigan Department of Public Health to the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs.
The VA begins increasing their support of and reliance on state veteran homes
Even still, the country is seeing a significant increase in the number of state veteran homes and available bed space. This is due, in part, to the availability of VA construction grants.
A centralized management team is established to provide coordinated leadership of Michigan Veteran Homes
As a part of this, a CEO was appointed and tasked with overseeing and managing the care of those residing in our veteran homes.
The Michigan Veterans’ Facility Authority is established
Early that year, the Michigan Veterans Workgroup was asked to develop a plan for future veterans’ facilities services. Their assessment included a recommendation for the Michigan Veterans’ Facility Authority (a semi-autonomous organization housed within the DMVA) and the construction of additional modern veterans’ homes throughout the state.
Construction on two new homes begins
Construction at the two new veteran homes in Grand Rapids and Chesterfield Township is on schedule – expected to be completed and opened by mid-2021. Both sites will house 128 members in four home-like neighborhood buildings. Measuring more than 29,000 square feet, each building will include 32 resident rooms, outfitted with private bedrooms and bathrooms. They will also have a shared kitchen, dining facilities and living spaces. Plus, they’ll surround a 33,000-square-foot community center, which will house administrative offices, occupational and physical therapy spaces and amenities like a multi-faith prayer room and café.
Ribbon Cutting Celebrations for Two New Homes
A ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly-constructed Michigan Veteran Homes at Chesterfield Township was held on April 2 at the Home. The ceremony included remarks by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, adjutant general and director of DMVA, Anne Zerbe, executive director of MVH, Dave Henry, chairman of the board for the MVFA and Bryon “Kip” Brand, a retired Air Force veteran and member at the Home. Festivities also included a posting of the colors led by American Legion Post 4 Patriot Team Honor Guard out of Mount Clemens, Michigan.
Michigan Veteran Homes also held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly-constructed Michigan Veteran Homes at Grand Rapids on September 2 at the Home. The ceremony included remarks by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Anne Zerbe, executive director of MVH, Dave Henry, chairman of the board for the MVFA and Robert Troost, a veteran and member at the Home. In addition to the remarks being offered, the program included a posting of the colors led by the Michigan Veteran Homes at Grand Rapids Member Color Guard and music by the Belmont Armory 126th Army Band.
But our story doesn’t end here. By 2031, we’d like to ensure 95% of Michigan's residents have access to our services within 75 miles of their home. And you can help.