BECOMING A GUEST
Our goal is to provide patient-families a place to stay for as long as they may need.
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.
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.
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!
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQs for Guests
How does the HOSTS for HOSPITALS’s lodging service differ from other hospital-related lodging?
Hosts for Hospitals provides lodging through volunteer-hosts who have a spare bedroom in their homes. This service is available to all potential guests regardless of a patient’s age or illness.
Who are the Hosts?
Our Hosts are ordinary people from all walks of life. At the same time they are extraordinary in that, without being paid, they welcome patient-families in need into their homes. The homes typically range from one-story ranch homes, to multiple-story homes, to condos in elevator-equipped buildings.
Before being accepted into the program all Hosts are screened. We conduct a consultation with the prospective Host-family along with a comprehensive inspection of the home.
Hosts are also trained to be sensitive to Guests’ feelings of stress and concern in light of the medical situation. Guest privacy is respected and Guests and Hosts are not expected to socialize unless they mutually wish to do so.
What services do the Hosts provide?
We strive to place Guests at Host-homes within easy access of treatment facilities. Hosts provide a clean and comfortable place to sleep, bathroom access and sheets, pillows, blankets, towels, etc.
Guests are responsible for their food, transportation, and personal toiletries such as toothpaste and shampoo. Guests who need kitchen use are placed at homes where they may bring food in, store it in the fridge and pantry, cook and clean up just as they do back at their own home.
Hosts also help orient Guests regarding directions and resources in the community.
For which medical facilities does HOSTS for HOSPITALS provide its lodging services?
We accept guests associated with patients receiving treatment at any medical facility within the area of Greater Philadelphia, including Southern New Jersey and Wilmington, Delaware.
Do I pay for this service?
To help cover the costs of our program, typically for the first 14 nights lodged there is a $20/night/per-family service fee, and then $10/per night thereafter. The fee is not a charitable donation.
How do I apply to be a Guest?
A relatively simple application form needs to be filled out. On the application we will ask your specific needs as a Guest, so that we may then match you with a Host-home that best meets your needs.
As noted above on this webpage, this application may be done by calling our office, having us call you if you live within the U.S., having us email you the application, or your submitting the application online by clicking on the blue ‘Guest Application’ button above. If you are working with a hospital staff person they may also be able to help you complete the application.
Both the email application and online applications are available in English, Spanish and Mandarin.
What is involved in the screening process?
We require a personal character reference for each Guest age 18 and above. This reference person is usually a physician or other health care provider from the Guest’s home community. We need to know that the Guest is considerate, reliable, responsible and able to manage independently within the Host’s home. The rule of thumb is: would I invite this person to stay in my own home? In addition, it is important that all potential Guests be free of alcohol or other substance dependency, and be without threatening mental health problems.
How soon are Guests placed once the application/referral process is completed?
Once the referral process is complete, we will immediately review our Host-network for a Host-home where the Guests’ needs may best be met. Once we confirm that the Host-home is available, we will contact you with the Host’s name and contact information. Though we ask that we normally be given a number of days to place a Guest at a Host-home, often the entire process can be completed the same day we receive the referral, assuming that we are able to reach the person providing the personal character reference for the Guest.
What happens next after I am given the name and phone number of my Host?
Once we notify you of your Host, we ask that you contact the Host within 24 hours to coordinate arrangements for your stay. At this time you and your Host will discuss any house guidelines regarding hours, meals, habits, use of phone, etc. We also ask that you confirm your stay with your Host 48 hours before you are expected to arrive at your Host’s home. As your Host will be expecting you at the agreed upon day and time, we ask that if there is a change in your plans, you alert both your Host and our office. Courtesy in this regard is greatly appreciated. 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 check is completed for them.
What do I do when I arrive at my Host’s home?
When you arrive your host will provide a liability release form which all adult Guests must sign. You will also receive a welcome package the includes a Guest brochure, Guest survey and return envelope. After you leave, please send us this survey so that we may evaluate our program.
May I pay my Hosts, give them a gift or donate to HOSTS for HOSPITALS?
As we wish for Hosts who welcome Guests out of the goodness of their hearts, we do not allow Hosts to accept payment.
Similarly, as Hosts only wish for sincere expressions of thanks from their Guests, we discourage gifts that are at all expensive. For those Guests who are flying to Philadelphia, for example, we suggest that at their local airport souvenir shop they may buy a coffee mug featuring where they are coming from, as that would be a wonderful keepsake for their Host-family.
Tax-deductible gifts in support of our work to provide lodging for patient-families in need may be made through our website or by mail: HOSTS for HOSPITALS / 326 Conshohocken St. Rd. #2 / Gladwyne, PA 19035. We also invite Guests to reach out via a Friend-to-Friend Appeal to their friends, family and colleagues. Our first annual campaign in 2016 raised $30,000 and made over 300 new friends for HOSTS for HOSPITALS! For details email HfH Director Mike Aichenbaum: email@example.com.
Additional FAQs for Medical Partners
What role do hospital staff have in referring patients and their families to the program?
Whenever you or your team members may have a patient-family that could benefit from being able to stay at a HfH host-home, we recommend that you tell the family these three things:
- That there is a program with a wonderful lodging option for them, HOSTS for HOSPITALS.
- That if they wish, you will have someone from HOSTS for HOSPITALS call them.
- They will be under no obligation to accept lodging if offered.
With the family’s permission you would then contact us so we may contact the family.
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 colleague 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
What support do hospital staff receive for presenting the program to potential guests?
We have very complete brochures which you may request by phone or email to have on-hand to give to your patient-families. Additionally, you may direct patient-families to click the Our Shared Stories link on our website where they may view many testimonials from Hosts and Guests speaking about their wonderful experiences together.
Does HOSTS for HOSPITALS offer in-service presentations to hospital staff?
Yes! Pending availability, we might also have one of our Hosts present as well. To schedule an in-service for your staff or to request materials, please call 484-380-2999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
How else may hospital staff support the Hosts for Hospitals program?
Ideally, the HOSTS for HOSPITALS program would be known throughout your medical community. However, the fact that hospital staff in one department know about our program does not necessarily mean that staff in other departments know of the program as well.
You can thus help ensure that all hospital patients and their families know of the host-home option by:
• arranging for HOSTS for HOSPITALS to be mentioned at the top of the lodging resource section of the hospital website.
• arranging for host-guest stories to be included in hospital social media and publications
• speaking about our service with your colleagues and passing on our literature to them
• arranging for us to meet with departmental staff
• informing us of medical conferences at which our program could be presented