Becoming a GuestOur goal is to provide patient-families a place to stay for as long as they may need.
Please scroll down for how to apply to be a guest and to view FAQs for guests and medical staff.
Four Ways to Apply to Be a Guest
(1) Contact us directly by phone 484-380-2999 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(2) If you live within the U.S. and wish for us to call you, fill out below and submit:
(3) If you wish for us to email you an application, fill out below and submit:
(4) Fill out our online application:Guest Application
Benefits of Host-Home Lodging
Having family members present is of direct benefit to patients and family members. Patients need the support of family members to navigate complex health care systems and decisions. Family members need a place to go to restore their energy and thus be able to help their hospitalized loved one each day.
For both patients and family members, staying at a host-home provides a place where guests witness that life goes on normally, providing a break from the medical crises.
Indeed, for hospitalized patients there is peace-of-mind in knowing that their loved ones are at a home with a caring host-family, rather than being alone at a hotel.
Joe and Donna Burk from Texas needed lodging for one week in association with going to the Wills Eye Institute
Rockeisha Barnett of Jamaica needed lodging for 6 months to undergo surgery and rehab at the Shriners Hospital
Elizabeth and Chris Sebero from Alabama needed lodging for 2 months so there baby could be born at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Help when medical bills were piling up!
I found out that at 36 weeks I would need to be close by the hospital.
I almost cried at the kindness!
Create a personal pledge page and invite your friends to join you in making either a Giving Tuesday or end-of-year gift as a caring way to help patients and families in need.
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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQs for Guests
How does Hosts for Hospitals' service differ from others?
Who are the hosts?
What services do the hosts provide?
Which hospitals does Hosts for Hospitals provide service to?
Do I pay for this service?
How do I apply to be a guest?
What is involved in the screening process?
How soon are guests placed once the application/referral process is completed?
What happens next after I am given the name and phone number of my host?
What do I do when I arrive at my host’s home?
FAQs for Medical Partners
Does Hosts for Hospitals offer presentations to hospital staff?
How does Hosts for Hospitals program differ from other hospital-related housing?
What role do hospital staff have in referring patients and their families to the program?
On the one hand, it is invaluable that hospital staff be well-informed about how Hosts for Hospitals works so they may provide a concise, accurate description of what the program offers.
On the other hand, just as any hospital staff-person can explain about what they do better than we can, we can best explain to potential guests the option of lodging at a host-home. We therefore suggest that hospital staff say to patient-families when speaking about lodging,
“There is a wonderful program that may have a perfect, free place for you to stay. If you like, I can have them call you to explain this lodging option.”
The hospital staff-person would then relay to us the name and phone number of the main contact person in the potential patient-family. Nothing else would be required of hospital staff.
In this way we may best inform potential guests about Hosts for Hospitals and ease any initial concerns they may have about staying at a host-home. These potential guests will then be able to make an informed decision about whether this service meets their needs.
What support do hospital staff receive for presenting the program to potential guests?
Who may be a guest?
- lives so far from the hospital that communiting is difficult;
- has a permanent home to return to;
- is an important support person for a patient receving medical care at a Philadelphia area hospital;
- and is unlikely to put the host family at risk in any manner.
May patients be guests?
Who are the hosts?
Our hosts are ordinary people in all walks of life. At the same time they are extraordinary in that they are willing to share their home with people in need.
The host-homes range from apartments to brownstones to single-family homes. Before being accepted into the program, Hosts for Hospitals screens each host and conducts an on-sight inspection of the host’s home.
Hosts are also trained to be sensitive to guests’ feelings of stress and concern for their loved ones. Hosts know to respect the privacy of their guests and thus do not expect to socialize with guests unless guests wish to do so.
What services do the hosts provide?
Hosts are not asked to provide meals, toiletries or transportation–these items ARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE GUESTS.
Many hosts, however, are happy to help out in these and other areas, such as by making their kitchen available at least for light meals. Hosts explain whatever additional services they wish to provide when they first speak by phone with their guests.
Do guests pay for this service?
What are the steps in the guest application process?
What is involved in filling out the Application Form?
Hospital staff who have these forms may also complete them with the family then contact us with the information or send it to us by fax: (215) 472-3803.
What is involved in the Personal Reference Check?
We ask for the name and phone number of a medical professional who knows the guest well enough to give a character reference –usually a hometown doctor, dentist or nurse. If the referral source is unfamiliar with the guest, we will ask for additional references.
We need to know that the guest is considerate, responsible, reliable and able to independently manage within the host home. The rule of thumb we ask of the person proving this reference is: would you invite this person to stay in my home?
In addition, it is important that potential guests be free of alcohol or other substance dependency, and, be without threatening mental health problems.
What happens once the application process is completed?
Once we confirm that that host is available, we then call the guest and provide the host’s name and phone number. We ask that the guest then call the host within 24 hours to coordinate arrangements for the stay.
At this time the guest and host will discuss house-guidelines regarding hours, meals, habits, use of phone, etc.
We also ask that the guest confirm the stay with the host 48 hours before the guest is expected to arrive at the host’s home. As the host will be expecting the guest at the agreed upon day and time, we ask that if there is a change in the guest’s plans that the guest alert both the host and our office.
Please note that any additional guests who have not gone through the screening process will not be able to stay at the host home until a reference is completed for them.
What can potential guests do to improve their chances of being placed in a volunteer-host home?
The more able and willing they are to stay a little farther away from the hospital, to use commuter trains and other public transportation, to use a shared bathroom with hosts, to refrain from smoking, etc., the more likely it is that we will be able to find housing for them.
How long does it take to place a guest once they are referred to Hosts for Hospitals?
Should hospital staff give potential guests the HfH phone number, or should hospital staff ask HfH to call the guests?
How else may hospital staff support the Hosts for Hospitals program?
You can thus help ensure that all hospital patients and their families know of the host-home option by:
- speaking about our service with your colleagues
passing on our literature to them
- arranging for us to meet with departmental staff
- arranging for host-guest stories to be including in hospital publications
- informing us of medical conferences at which our program could be presented, and
- arranging for the program to be mentioned at the top of the lodging resource section of the hospital website