New Grief Center and Office Building by Visiting Nurse

5920 Homestead Road
Fort Wayne, Indiana


For more than 125 years, Visiting Nurse has been providing healthcare for those in our community affected by serious illness. Amongst their many services, the need for grief counseling has seen a dramatic increase over the past several years. Suffering from an extreme lack of space in their existing Hospice Home, the grief services department moved to a small, offsite facility. However, it quickly became clear that operating Visiting Nurse services from multiple locations was challenging. Moreover, the offsite location offered few amenities to assist individuals in their time of grief. A thoughtful, well-planned solution was needed.


When approached by Visiting Nurse, Grinsfelder Associates was excited to be a part of this undertaking that would create a new amenity for our community. The new Visiting Nurse Community Grief Center would include space for individual and group grief counseling, areas for communing with nature, meeting room space, and additional office space for other Visiting Nurse departments. The Community Grief Center would focus on creating spaces intended for the healing of individuals suffering from grief.


Grinsfelder Associates reviewed a site immediately adjacent to the Visiting Nurse Hospice Home to determine if the site could accommodate all of the necessary amenities. Following the purchase of the property, the new building and site were designed with the goal of developing a recognizable Visiting Nurse campus. To do so, the new building utilizes similar architectural qualities as the Hospice Home. On the exterior, this included using brick, siding, and roofing materials that correspond with the scale, color, and texture of the existing building. Inside the new facility, doors, door hardware, signage, and other architectural features have been duplicated. The slate tile that lines two walls of the Hospice Home lobby has been repurposed in the Grief Center lobby to act as a backdrop for the reception desk and highlight the fireplace and water feature.


In addition to those elements creating the campus feel, the new Community Grief Center also features two interior water features, a sunroom, an accessible vegetated green roof, and 50- and 150-person meeting rooms. In total, the new facility more than doubles the amount of usable square footage for Visiting Nurse operations. All of this was done while coming in below the established project budget.