History of the Fisher Houses

Background of the House

The idea for a comfort home was first presented to Mr. Zachary Fisher in 1989 by Admiral Carl Trost and his wife Pauline. After which the very first Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher House was built at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland in 1991. Mr. Fisher hired his own architect, builder, and interior designer to complete the house at his own cost.

Today, the plans for the Fisher House, its construction and its interior design are completed by the Fisher House Foundation. The Fisher House Foundation was established in 1993 as a “national not for profit organization aimed at assisting in the coordination of private support and encourage public support for the Fisher House™ program.”

Once the houses are completed they are presented to the respective Services or Department of Veteran’s Affairs to be managed.

About Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher

Zachary Fisher left high school at age 16 to help his father and older brothers in the family construction business. Early in his career he suffered a severe knee injury in a construction accident which prevented him from serving in the military. However, over the years, he and his wife Elizabeth served the country well by volunteering time and donating money to family-oriented military efforts.

In 1990, Mr. and Mrs. Fisher began the Fisher House program, dedicating more than $20 million to the construction of comfort homes for families of hospitalized military personnel. More than 3,000,000 days of lodging have been provided by Fisher House, saving families an estimated $150 million. Since the program’s inception, more than 130,000 families have stayed in Fisher House.

The Fishers were dedicated to enhancing the public perception of the U.S. Military and to helping needy members of the Armed Forces. They were true patriots who ardently supported a number of philanthropic activities. The Fisher House Foundation, Inc. has established 45 Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher Houses, providing a home-away-from-home for families of hospitalized patients undergoing treatment at U. S. Military Treatment Facilities and VA hospitals. By the end of 2010, there will be 53 houses in operation!

To learn more about the Fisher Houses and Fisher House Foundation, please click here to watch the Fisher House Foundation video or click here to visit the Fisher House Foundation website!