The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) assists Minnesota’s over 360,000 Veterans and their dependents to obtain the benefits and services provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. MDVA was established by the Minnesota Legislature in 1943 in order to consolidate and strengthen services provided to Veterans and their families during the height of World War II.
However, MDVA’s legacy started even earlier, with establishment of the Minnesota Soldier’s Home. The Minnesota State legislature approved language to create the Home in 1887. Now called the Minnesota Veterans Home — Minneapolis, the Home has been serving Minnesota Veterans for 130 years.
By 1889 construction at the site of the current Minneapolis Veterans Home had begun; and by 1911, five men's cottages and one women's cottage had been built, along with several support services buildings (infirmary, dining hall, etc.).
The 1970s began a time of change and growth for the Soldiers Home. In 1971 and 1980 new nursing care facilities were constructed on the Minneapolis campus. Additionally, in 1978, the old state hospital in Hastings was converted into a domiciliary residence for Veterans. Over the next 20 years three more Homes would be built to serve Veterans across the state. There are now Homes in Minneapolis, Hastings, Silver Bay, Luverne and Fergus Falls.
In 2007 the Governor eliminated the Veterans Home Board and transferred the five Minnesota Veterans Homes to the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs. This was done to consolidate all State Veterans services and programs in one Department, and to improve the services provided by the Minnesota Veterans Homes.
The Minnesota State Legislature has continued their legacy of support for the Veterans Homes and committed to fund, together with the federal VA, /mdva/assets/minneapolis-veterans-home-phases_tcm1066-272741.pdfa three-phased construction project to renovate, build, and update facilities at the Minneapolis Veterans Home.
Completed in 2012, the first phase included a skilled nursing facility with 100 private rooms designed around the industry standard of Resident-centered care. It includes a barber and beauty shop, common areas, a greenhouse, and large common area with natural light and greenery.
This past year the Minneapolis Home had a grand opening ceremony to celebrate the opening of Building 21. The ceremony marked the end of the second phase.
Building 21 boasts 155,511 square feet over four floors: three Resident levels and a lower level. These three floors house a state of the art 100 bed Skilled Nursing Facility in private rooms for individualized care as well as provide common spaces for visiting or activities.
Phase three is currently underway.
Many amenities are in effort to streamline healthcare and allow the Minnesota Veterans Home — Minneapolis to meet the needs of Veterans around the state. From six cottages to an Adult Day Center and five Homes around the state, the Minnesota Veterans Homes system has certainly grown. One-hundred thirty years is quite a milestone and MDVA wishes to continue this care for another 130 years of service.