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Our Mission

The panhandle of Florida is home to numerous military installations.  These installations serve thousands of military personnel and possess a significant deployment commitment. Consequently, our military members are continuously placed in harm’s way and on occasion, the unthinkable happens.  Fisher Houses provides a warm, compassionate home away from home where our military and their families receive caring, unconditional support and encouragement.

On 10 September 2010, Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach in Okaloosa County Florida, held a ribbon cutting ceremony, officially opening the Fisher House of the Emerald Coast for guest families. The first guests arrived at the house 17 October 2010.

Our house was one of the quickest to gain approval, reducing the normal approval time from 5 years down to 2 due to the urgent need and the tenacity of our board.  Our services have expanded with the needs of the military community and volunteers are always needed; both for the Fisher House and in support of fundraising events. With the addition of the Intrepid Spirit Center in 2020, one of ten unique centers open, ours focuses on Invisible Wounds with state of the art therapies for active duty personnel.  This multi-week specialized treatment plan offers mind, body and soul experiences, very much like preventative maintenance to allow adjustments and restorative healing as necessary.

As lodging expenses continue to rise, our home is frequently at capacity, with overflow families placed in partner hotels so no one is turned away.  This quickly adds up with the average hotel in Fort Walton Beach currently at $238. We typically average 1,000 guests annually, with approximately 3,000 bed nights.   Our guest stay numbers continue to grow (averaging about 86% ) and the Intrepid is driving those numbers up.  Average stay is 3 days for guests, with the longest being 13 months.  Guests may return as often as needed for as long as is needed.  


Shovels were ready for the groundbreaking ceremony for the Emerald Coast Fisher House here.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stacia Zachary)

A walk down memory lane see the video of our groundbreaking, before our home was built.

Eglin’s Fisher House has 12 suites and it is located across the street from the Eglin hospital and the Veteran’s Clinic. It is open for guests twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week.  The manager is present at the House from 8am – 4:00pm Monday through Friday and is on call all remaining hours. The patients have the benefit of having loved ones nearby in a safe, comfortable environment.  There is no fee for staying at the Fisher House, saving families significant costs and more importantly, worry. Guests served at the Fisher House of the Emerald Coast come from all over the United States. Any time a military member or family member is being treated at any local medical facility, they are eligible to use the Fisher House.

Fundraising efforts are forever on-going; monies raised provide much needed funding to the house to support the operation and the maintenance of the home, and to provide the families with any necessary items needed during their stay.

Our mission is to keep military families together during times of medical need, providing a support system for healing.  We believe a family’s love is the best medicine.  Our guest experiences say it best.  These quotes are taken from the journals that are placed in each suite for our families to share their experiences with the next guests, to inspire and encourage hope and healing.

Please click here for a brochure that you can share with others on our great mission!

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — (Left to right)

Trecia Chedister, Emerald Coast Fisher House founding member; Tony Hughes, Emerald Coast Fisher House board member; David Coker. President of the Fisher House Foundation; Maj. Gen. David Eidsaune, Air Armament Center commander and the Air Force Program Executive Officer for Weapons; Congressman Jeff Miller; Col. Bruce McClintock, 96th Air Base Wing commander; Robin Baily, 96th Air Base Wing Director of Staff; and Col. Tama Van Decar, 96th Medical Group commander; shoveled the first bit of earth during the groundbreaking of the Emerald Coast Fisher House.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stacia Zachary)