A Growing Need
Since 2013, requests for lodging at Kathy’s House have soared 75%. We’ve been operating at capacity for several years, and the sharply increasing demand means we regularly face the unthinkable task of turning families away. Saying “no” breaks our hearts.
We serve about 1,500 guests annually. Every month, we run about six rooms short. That means patients may face the terrible choice of forgoing needed medical care because they or their family can’t afford a hotel. Or they bear the emotional toll of being away from home, without family nearby, as they undergo treatment for cancer or other serious illnesses.
Two major factors drive this growing need: Milwaukee is home to top tier hospitals and draws patients nationwide, many from communities that lack the deep medical expertise to treat rare cancers or heart conditions or perform complex organ transplants. Second, the trend toward delivering more outpatient care instead of hospitalization means more patients need lodging during treatment.
A Critical Safety Net
Kathy’s House is a critical safety net for people facing the stress of a serious illness. As they navigate difficult questions and decisions, we take away the worry of finding an affordable place to stay. No one is ever turned away because of ability to pay. A study published in the November 2018 Journal of American Medicine/Network Open found that access to low-cost lodging and transportation is a barrier that would prevent 94% of respondents from traveling for needed medical care.
A Supportive Community
The House serves a vital emotional and medical need, measurably improving the lives of people seeking care at Milwaukee hospitals. Research consistently shows improved health outcomes for patients whose loved ones are nearby during treatment. We help keep families together in a mutually supportive, safe community where guests find respite, companionship, and compassion.
A Safe Refuge
Much more than a place to sleep, Kathy’s House is a refuge where guests can just be themselves and relax. A shared kitchen and dining room, common living areas and private rooms create a home-away-from-home where guests can choose social interaction or privacy, and where families can feel connected and supported.