Property donations from healthcare organizations lead to housing and improved health outcomes

In early 2023, a new Veterans Home will be completed in the Bemidji region

This property will provide much needed affordable housing for seventy-two veterans. A community of practitioners will provide residents with health support services.

Sanford Health’s 2012 strategic land donation was the catalyst for the placement of the Bemidji Veterans Home, which has led to additional new investments and jobs – anticipated to continue flowing into the community for years to come.

This is a true community success story. We cannot be prouder of Sanford Health’s early commitment of land to this effort. The partnership in this community to serve our veterans and all residents in need of housing, is what makes this a healthier place we call home.

– Susan Jarvis, CEO, Sanford Health Bemidji

 

In 2012, Bemidji was number 10 on a list of communities to become the site for one of three veteran’s homes to meet the growing needs of veterans in  Northwestern Minnesota. The Northern MN Veteran’s Home Task Force came together to make the case for the new veteran’s home, but it was the game-changing commitment by Sanford Health, to donate necessary land and operational assistance funds, that would become the center of a successful campaign to build the project.

The land was previously underutilized excess property located south of Sanford’s WoodsEdge Senior Living campus and near the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center. It has easy access to transit and is next to the new North Country Park, with trails and other amenities. “I don’t think you can say anything bad about it. There are no negatives.” Said Joe Vene, chairperson of the task force at the time.

As with any project it took time to assemble the needed financing and commitments, including $10 million for a local match to secure a federal grant. The state of Minnesota committed $12.4 million in 2018. An additional $2.3 million was raised from local governmental units, organizations, and private donations. In April 2021, the United States Department of Veteran Affairs announced its commitment, the final piece of funding to reach the project’s total development cost of $42 million. “This is a true community success story. We cannot be prouder of Sanford Health’s early commitment of land to this effort. The partnership in this community to serve our veterans and all our residents in need of housing, is what makes this a healthier place we call home.” said Susan Jarvis, President and CEO of Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota.

Sanford Health Land and Property Donations
Advancing Community Solutions

Project Donation Value
Veterans Home 15 Acres $1M
New Day Center Building $750K
Mental Health Facility Land $500K

 

The most recent donations of land and buildings by Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota have supported a new day center for homeless residents and a mental health facility serving the Bemidji region. The Nameless Coalition for the Homeless received a building donation to drive their mission to provide day shelter and services to residents. The new mental health facility is a partnership with Prime West Health to consolidate and expand mental health services in the community. In total the land and building donations to date have exceeded $2 million in value, enabling the housing and community health projects to move forward.

Too often we forget the wide variety of assets healthcare institutions have available, beyond financial resources and philanthropy. Healthcare holds land/property, expertise, relationships, community voice and a strong balance sheet that could be creatively used, in partnership with communities, to address social determinants of health.

To discuss opportunities you hope to pursue, please reach out to:

Eric Muschler
Director of Housing & Health Equity
Greater Minnesota Housing Fund

emuschler@gmmf.com

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