Happy Veteran's Day, With Respect, The Green House Project

By / Posted on November 11th, 2013

We are thankful for our freedom, and we are humbled by the cost. Today we honor those who protected all that was fought for and the men and women who gave it all. Thank you veterans, you are our true patriots! Hug them, thank them, teach your children of their sacrifices….today and all the days to come.

We are honored to work with Green House homes, including those specifically serving Veterans, who create meaningful lives for our nation’s heroes at every stage of life. Cheryl Kennedy is a daughter whose father, Paul, lives at Liberty House at VA Illiana in Danville, IL.  When asked about the impact of living in a Green House home for a veteran, she says:

“ The more I learn about The Green House project, the more I am awed by what it offers veterans like my father – a beautiful, real home environment with access to VA facilities and services and, most important, care 24/7. Important for my father, was the privacy of his own room and the comfort level of his natural connection with the other veterans. For him, sitting at the table with these men was similar to his experience of sitting at the table with his Friday night crew at the American Legion. Dad readily shares how lucky he is to call the Liberty House his home!”

Cheryl’s dad, Paul, a 91 year old veteran who lives in a Green House home


Grow Where You Are Planted

By / Posted on November 12th, 2012

Written by: Cyd Mason, LCSW Green House Guide
VA Illiana Health Care System

 

On a mid-summer afternoon Veteran Thomas M. Booher (Korean War) sat looking out the front window of Liberty House (one of VA Illiana Health Care System’s Green House homes) at the front yard.  As the Guide I visit the Green House homes with regularity and on this day I pulled up a chair and asked him what he thought about the landscaping.  To my surprise I learned that Mr. Booher had a Bachelor’s Degree in Botany from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He pointed out that there was one tree in particular that was “too close to the house.”  He said, “as that tree grows it will destroy the foundation of this house.  It’s a Burr Oak and they get very large.  You have to remember there’s more under the ground than what you can see.  Trees have an extensive root system and that’s why one day the foundation and the roof will be damaged.  You really need to remove it and plant something smaller near the house.”

Korean War Veteran, Thomas M. Booher, Botanist and resident of Liberty House (one of VA Illiana Health Care System’s Green House homes).

Veteran Thomas M. Booher’s expertise was shared with our Green House leadership and with our staff that maintains and cares for our landscaping.  Several weeks later the Burr tree was removed and transplanted in the backyard and two crab trees were added to the front of Liberty House.  Their small stature of twelve feet will not interfere with the house foundation or its roof.  We owe a big “Thank you” to Mr. Booher for making us aware of this potential future problem!

We talked about his career  in designing and building custom homes.  “Impressive,“ I  thought.  He said, “That’s the hardest way to make an easy living!”  He grinned ear to ear as he shared that with me.

Our conversation turned to his experience living in Liberty House.  He said, “It’s just absolutely great here and that goes along with the staff.  This couldn’t work without them (shahbazim).  I can’t say anymore than that – that and with one of our RNs who ‘can spin a tale!’”

We are fortunate to have Mr. Booher residing in Liberty House.  He enjoys sharing his knowledge of plant life, music and a good joke now and then.  In the past ten months of living in Liberty House I have seen Mr. Booher “open up” and “blossom” with his fellow Veterans around the dinner table and with the  shahbazim and one RN in particular.  We truly see the building of relationships in Liberty House.  Mr. Booher is one very fine example of why embracing the Green House model was the “right thing to do.”


Highlighting the VA Illiana Health Care System on Veteran's Day

By / Posted on November 9th, 2012

In honor of Veteran’s Day, The Green House Project wants to give a shout out to the VA Illiana Health Care System (VAIHCS) in Danville, Illinois.  This team never lost sight of their dream: bringing a real home environment to their Community Living Centers (CLCs).  For six years staff at VAIHCS worked tirelessly to make this dream a reality.  Finally in December 2011, they opened their first Green House home, and then the second home one month later.  Over the next year, two more Green House homes will open. 

This week, the team was notified that they received the 2012 Under Secretary for Health’s Award for Innovation in VA Community Living Centers.  This award is given to a VA that has shown real leadership and innovation in veterans’ care.  The organization receiving this award has shown change in the following areas: work practices, care practices, environment of care, leadership, and government and community relationships.

This award is a testament to the determination and passion of all the individuals involved in this effort.  A comment from one veteran who said, “I never thought I would be living in a home again” or a staff member who stated that “I look forward to coming to work and I am in no hurry to leave at the end of my shift” is all the proof they need to know this initiative was worth it.


Christa Hojlo, “creating environments where the very best can happen for people”

By / Posted on November 11th, 2011

Christa Hojlo, National Director for VA Community Living Centers, Veterans Health Administration, speaks here at the opening celebration about why the VA sees the Green House model as a long-term alternative to traditional nursing homes. 

She reflects, that we are creating an environment where our veterans can thrive and grow and where the staff can grow in new ways.  It puts the power in the hands of the veteran and those working closest with them to meet their needs, whether that be a stack of pancakes, or anything else that will support the veteran in meeting his/her highest potential.


Christa Hojlo, "creating environments where the very best can happen for people"

By / Posted on November 11th, 2011

Christa Hojlo, National Director for VA Community Living Centers, Veterans Health Administration, speaks here at the opening celebration about why the VA sees the Green House model as a long-term alternative to traditional nursing homes. 

She reflects, that we are creating an environment where our veterans can thrive and grow and where the staff can grow in new ways.  It puts the power in the hands of the veteran and those working closest with them to meet their needs, whether that be a stack of pancakes, or anything else that will support the veteran in meeting his/her highest potential.


A Veteran's Reflections on Veteran's Day

By / Posted on November 11th, 2011

Veteran Randy Cook, leads the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance during dedication ceremony on 10/21/11 for the first two houses being built at VA Illiana Health Care System. These are the first two houses VA has built with other VA’s in the process.

Randy Cook, a veteran who will be moving into Freedom House on 11/29/11, at VA Illiana Health Care System in Danville, Illinois, served in the Army from 1976-96. He was a Sgt in the army, and he served our county in Desert Storm. He took a moment to share a few thoughts, on Veteran’s Day:

How would you describe a good day? How do you think The Green House homes will support you in this?
Knowing I am safe because others after me are now standing watch. I can’t wait to move into Freedom House. The house is beautiful and I am so excited and proud I was selected to live in Freedom House. It is a wonderful place for me and my fellow Veterans that I will be living with.

What is the message you would like to share with future generation about Veteran’s Day?
To have a special day like Veterans Day to recognize Veterans such as myself is very rewarding. This day should never be taken for granted. Men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice for this country to have the freedoms we have today. Hopefully people will take a moment to reflect how fortunate we are in America because of what our Veterans have done and what our military today are doing.

Julie Sanders, Shahbaz shows Veteran Randy Cook through Freedom House after dedication ceremony held on 10/21/11.


A Veteran’s Reflections on Veteran’s Day

By / Posted on November 11th, 2011

Veteran Randy Cook, leads the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance during dedication ceremony on 10/21/11 for the first two houses being built at VA Illiana Health Care System. These are the first two houses VA has built with other VA’s in the process.

Randy Cook, a veteran who will be moving into Freedom House on 11/29/11, at VA Illiana Health Care System in Danville, Illinois, served in the Army from 1976-96. He was a Sgt in the army, and he served our county in Desert Storm. He took a moment to share a few thoughts, on Veteran’s Day:

How would you describe a good day? How do you think The Green House homes will support you in this?
Knowing I am safe because others after me are now standing watch. I can’t wait to move into Freedom House. The house is beautiful and I am so excited and proud I was selected to live in Freedom House. It is a wonderful place for me and my fellow Veterans that I will be living with.

What is the message you would like to share with future generation about Veteran’s Day?
To have a special day like Veterans Day to recognize Veterans such as myself is very rewarding. This day should never be taken for granted. Men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice for this country to have the freedoms we have today. Hopefully people will take a moment to reflect how fortunate we are in America because of what our Veterans have done and what our military today are doing.

Julie Sanders, Shahbaz shows Veteran Randy Cook through Freedom House after dedication ceremony held on 10/21/11.


Veteran's Day Interview Project

By / Posted on November 4th, 2011

    Veteran’s Day Interview

In honor of Veteran’s Day, The Green House Project would like to honor those who have served to protect our country and our freedom by collecting meaningful stories to honor their lives and contributions:

To participate in this project:
• Collect important information about who that veteran is (where they served, important life highlights)
• Conduct short interview with a veteran in your community or one who knows them well
• Share a photo/video with the veteran’s interview with The Green House Project (email Rachel, rscher@ncbcapitalimpact.org)
• Present the story to your local media outlets (more…)


Veteran’s Day Interview Project

By / Posted on November 4th, 2011

    Veteran’s Day Interview

In honor of Veteran’s Day, The Green House Project would like to honor those who have served to protect our country and our freedom by collecting meaningful stories to honor their lives and contributions:

To participate in this project:
• Collect important information about who that veteran is (where they served, important life highlights)
• Conduct short interview with a veteran in your community or one who knows them well
• Share a photo/video with the veteran’s interview with The Green House Project (email Rachel, rscher@ncbcapitalimpact.org)
• Present the story to your local media outlets (more…)