The new healing center will occupy part of the second floor of the eight-story, 300,000-square-foot mixed-use project developed by Sherman Associates. Kraus-Anderson (KA), the construction manager for the Sherman development project, anticipates a summer 2020 groundbreaking. The Sherman project is located adjacent to the new Thrivent headquarters, which is currently under construction.
Designed by ESG Architects, the healing center will include offices, 12 apartment units and community space providing accommodations 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.
For three years, Douglas Jandro, a Vice President at Kraus-Anderson, has led a collaborative effort to bring key businesses together to create an affordable solution that can support families of those undergoing treatment at nearby Hennepin Healthcare Burn Unit, a regional center for burn treatment.
“The new center’s close proximity to a top burn unit is critical for survivors and their families,” Jandro said. “We are thankful to have such a compassionate team of businesses whose creative synergy made an affordable downtown option possible.”
KA’s support since 2017 has provided three apartment units in its downtown HQ Apartments. FF4H provides these to families free of charge to stay one week or longer close to their loved ones who are in the hospital.
At FF4H’s 2019 Red Tie Gala, more than $750,000 was raised toward the $6-million cost of the new space.
Firefighters for Healing was founded in 2010 by Minneapolis firefighter Jake LaFerriere, who experienced firsthand what a burn trauma patient endures. During his recovery, LaFerriere was inspired to support children as well as firefighters who are burn survivors, as their families navigate the first hours, days and months following burn trauma.
“Unfortunately, hospitals can only address medical needs and insurance companies have guidelines,” said LaFerriere, who serves as FF4H Executive Director. “FF4H seeks to fill this gap by providing meals, transportation and accommodations, as well as toys, gift cards, camp scholarships and more.”
The nonprofit also recently launched Camp RED, which provides a therapeutic camp environment in Northern Minnesota where survivors aged 6-16 years of age can gather and build confidence.
“We are so grateful for the tremendous support of Kraus-Anderson, Sherman Associates and ESG Architects and others for their leadership and stewardship in bringing this much-needed facility to life,” said Chris Dunker, FF4H Board Chair.