Visiting Nurse has started site work on a $4.6 million Community Grief Center that will provide free grief counseling and assistance to adults who have lost a spouse, loved one or friend.
The center, which is expected to open in about one year, will be located on Visiting Nurse’s existing campus at 5910 Homestead Road. Officials plan to hold a blessing of the site and a groundbreaking ceremony at 11 a.m. June 4.
“We think it is going to be a real asset to the community,” said Kris Rajchel, Visiting Nurse’s director of resource development. “There are very few centers like this, certainly in our area, and in the country.”
The ceremony June 4 also will launch the public phase of the fundraising campaign for the project, Rajchel said. Visiting Nurse has raised about $4 million so far.
The center's operating costs and free care will be financed with funds from a foundation recently established by the Visiting Nurse board of directors, she said.
The grief center will be a free-standing building rather than addition to Visiting Nurse, Rajchel said.
For some people who have had a loved one die in Visiting Nurse’s Hospice Home, “It is really hard for them to come back in,” she explained.
Services provided at the grief center will include counseling, support groups and other activities designed to bring healing to grieving adults, Rajchel said. The center also will work closely with Erin’s House for Grieving Children, which provides grief services to children, teens and their families.
The Community Grief Center will be staffed by Visiting Nurse’s three-person grief team, which provides similar services now at various locations in the community, Rajchel said. Grief team members currently work out of leased office space in Constitution Hill office park near Constitution Drive and Magnavox Way.
The new center will give grief team members better facilities for assisting adults and families, she said. But team members will continue to offer help out in the community.