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Bemidji Veterans Home construction is now 45% complete

The Bemidji Veterans Home, which is currently under construction, is 45% complete and is on track to open in mid-2023.

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A rendering of the future Bemidji Veterans Home is displayed during the project’s groundbreaking ceremony on Aug. 26, 2021, near the Sanford Health campus.
(Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer)
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BEMIDJI — The Bemidji Veterans Home, which is currently under construction, is 45% complete and is on track to open in mid-2023.

The project has been years in the making with construction beginning in August 2021.

The home, which will serve veterans in need of skilled nursing care, opened applications on Sept. 15 and Minnesota Veterans Home Clinical Director Caroline Schauer reported that more than 70 applications were received for the Bemidji Veterans Home within the first five days.

The Bemidji Veterans Home will include 72 residential units with private baths that will be split into two “neighborhoods” and four “households” of 18 residents each, providing a more homelike atmosphere.

The design reflects a Northwoods cabin feel for the public spaces that include a town center featuring a small coffee shop/cafe, theater/meeting room, family dining room, meditation room/chapel and club room.

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Photos of other veterans homes completed around the state are displayed at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Bemidji Veterans Home on Aug. 26, 2021, near the Sanford Health campus.
(Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer)

The MDVA is also constructing new veterans homes in Montevideo and Preston and applications are being accepted for those two locations as well.

“The County Veterans Service Officers have been so helpful in assisting our future residents and their families with the application process,” Schauer said.

Applications are reviewed by the MDVA and are then placed on a waiting list. Several months before the home opens, applicants will be contacted for more information on their health care needs and a financial intake will be completed.

Admissions will be staggered and gradual, and only a small number of residents will be admitted until after the home is approved by a Department of Veterans Affairs inspection.

Schauer emphasized that the facility will be a skilled nursing home and residents must require that level of care. Typically, residents are admitted after spending several months on a waiting list. They can be admitted directly from their own home, from another community skilled nursing facility or in rare cases from a hospital. There will not be assisted living nor domiciliary-level care provided at the new veterans home.

Because admissions will not begin for almost another year, MDVA Commissioner Larry Herke encouraged applicants to work with their County Veterans Service Officer regarding their health care needs in the meantime.

At a recent meeting, MDVA leaders shared plans to hire 164 full- and part-time staff. Recruitment has also begun for the home administrator who will be hired by the end of 2022 with other leadership roles following.

Job openings will be posted at mn.gov/mmb/careers. Employment inquiries can be emailed to NewHomesJobs@state.mn.us.

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Douglas Hughes, MDVA Deputy Commissioner noted that while not even open yet, the veterans home is already receiving much community support. Veterans health care donations are welcomed and will enhance the quality of life for future residents. Donations are often used for recreation activities or special events.

Related Topics: VETERANS
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