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Operation Finally Home is a national nonprofit organization that brings together homebuilders, remodelers, building suppliers and supporters to provide custom-built, mortgage-free homes, home modifications and transitional housing for wounded, ill and injured veterans, first responders, and their families. We unite everyday Americans who respect and value our country’s military heroes and the sacrifices they make to defend our freedoms, as well as the widows of the fallen, in the unique opportunity to honor those heroes with a home.
The mission of Operation Finally Home is to provide homes and home modifications to wounded, ill and injured veterans, first responders and their families who have sacrificed so much to defend our freedoms and values.
Wounded, ill and injured service members and first responders confront extreme hardships. Operation Finally Home brings together communities to address one of the pressing needs of our returning heroes, a safe home. Providing a home or home modification for these heroes removes a huge financial burden from these soldiers, allowing them to focus on healing and preparing for their family’s future.
Operation Finally Home was founded in 2005. The roots of Operation Finally Home lie with our founder, Dan Wallrath. As a longtime builder, Dan responded to a request to remodel the home of a wounded Marine in 2005 by working with the community to remodel the home at no cost to the family.
The work of Operation Finally Home is made possible through our unique network of supporters providing monetary and gift-in-kind donations. From donated building materials to in-kind labor and gifted land, local projects are driven by industry and community support.Operation Finally Home helps their builder partners with additional standard project expenses falling outside a builder’s individual network of support. On average, that funding gap is about $100,000 per home which Operation Finally Home is able to provide thanks to individual donations, grants, and fundraisers.
Although we don’t require it, approximately 20% of our recipients have been eligible to take advantage of the Special Adaptive Housing (SAH) or Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grants provided to the veteran by the VA. These grants are available to certain veterans who are entitled to disability compensation due to injuries sustained in service to apply toward adapting their home. The eligible veteran elects to use the funds and assigns the benefits to Operation Finally Home who provides them an adaptive home that meets the SAH / SHA requirements.
With advancements in combat trauma medicine as well as medicine in general, more of our service men and woman are coming home wounded and disabled than ever before. Given the nature of the current military campaigns, today’s combat wounded are experiencing severe burns and/or the loss of limbs as well as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Statistics show that there are over 60,000 wounded and over 400,000 service men and women suffering from PTSD and TBI sustained from their service in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), and Operation New Dawn (OND). Operation Finally Home’s support has primarily been to those wounded, ill or injured service members returning from those current campaigns, but the organization will support any and all service members regardless of the campaign in which they served.
Operation Finally Home utilizes military caseworkers and a network of military resources to proactively identify home candidates. Most of our home recipients are returning from service with the most severe, category 3 injuries, and are unable to continue to serve in the military. Often selection of a home candidate is related to location and timelines of the organization’s builder partners.
Operation Finally Home has over 350 homes in 33 states that have either been completed, under construction or are currently in the planning stage – and we continue to grow! Given the significant number of wounded, ill and injured service men and women returning from their service to our country, the organization is working to expand the program nationwide with the dream of one day seeing hundreds of homes built annually across the nation for our wounded veterans.