Firefighters for Healing, partners plan to open transitional healing center in Minneapolis

Firefighters for Healing partnered with ESG Architects and others to open a transitional healing center in Minneapolis, an area where burn survivors and first responders can recover from injuries and find a new normal. (FF4H, Kraus-Anderson, Sherman Associates & ESG Architects)

Firefighters for Healing, a nonprofit dedicated to helping burn survivors, first responders and their families, has announced plans to create a 15,000-square-foot Transitional Healing Center located at Seventh Street and Fifth Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.

According to a release from FF4H, the healing center will include offices and 12 apartment units. It will also include a community space for families of burn survivors traveling from a distance and for any first responder in Minnesota who is receiving care for any reason. The facility will also provide support for burn survivors recently discharged from the hospital who need time to adjust to their new normal level of activity.

Designed by ESG Architects, the healing center will occupy part of the second floor of the 8-story, 300,000-square-foot mixed-use project developed by Sherman Associates. Kraus-Anderson, the construction manager for the Sherman development project, anticipates a summer 2020 groundbreaking

“If we weren’t here, I don’t know where they would be," said Paula Wilhelm, a board member for FF4H. "Hospitals can take care of the medical attention, insurance companies take care of the costs of the medical procedure, but who’s there to take care of the parent, or the spouse or the children of the person in the hospital?  That’s where we step in and we bring meals, gas cards, housing bring toys, that’s the fun part, but it is really what can we do to help.”

Firefighters for Healing was founded in 2010 by Minneapolis firefighter Jake LaFerriere, who years ago was caught inside a devastating house explosion. Now, he’s committed his life to helping others through the excruciating healing process. LaFerriere now serves as the executive director of FF4H.

“Unfortunately, hospitals can only address medical needs and insurance companies have guidelines,” LaFerriere said in a release.  “FF4H seeks to fill this gap by providing meals, transportation and accommodations, as well as toys, gift cards, camp scholarships and more.”

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