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New House – FAQ

New House – FAQ

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Kathy’s House is a hospital guest house committed to providing affordable lodging and caring support in a “home away from home” environment for patients and their families who need to travel to Milwaukee for medical care.

Kathy’s House is a non-profit Hospital Guest House that provides lodging and a supportive environment to families who are experiencing personal illness or the serious illness of a loved one. It is a caring place where guests can eat, sleep and be with others when they want – or be alone when they need time, introspection and quiet healing.

Since opening in 2001, Kathy’s House has provided 131,000 lodging nights, a supportive environment, and amenities such as transportation to area hospitals for more than 18,000 individuals. 85% of guests are here because of a cancer diagnosis, 45% of guests are patients (many of them are receiving a bone marrow transplant which requires a stay of 9 weeks), and 55% are family members/caregivers for someone who is receiving medical treatment in a Milwaukee hospital. 71% of guests are Wisconsin residents with most coming from Northeast WI followed by the Southeastern part of the state along the Illinois border. With a few exceptions, guests must live at least 50 miles outside of Milwaukee.

Families who live 50 miles or greater outside of the Milwaukee area and have a family member who is being treated at a Milwaukee area hospital are eligible to stay at the House. A member of the patient’s health care team is asked to complete and send a referral form to Kathy’s House to initiate a request to stay at the House. Requests are granted on a first come, first served basis. Both patients receiving outpatient care and family members or caregivers of patients can stay at Kathy’s House. The House is the only Hospital Guest House in Milwaukee that serves patients of all ages and their caregivers. There is no limit to the number of nights a family can stay at the house once they become a guest.

The Ronald McDonald House serves families where the patient is 21 years of age or younger. Kathy’s House serves patients of any age and their families, though most are adults. We serve children at Kathy’s House, but they are usually an adolescent patient or the child of an adult patient.

A New Home for Healing is a $12 million capital campaign to build a new Kathy’s House near Froedtert Hospital so we can meet the growing demand for our services and continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families facing cancer and other major medical issues.

Patients and families who seek to stay at Kathy’s House are facing one of the most stressful times in their lives – a medical crisis. It is heartbreaking to add to a family’s stress by not having space to house them. Turning people away means that a patient may not be able to access the expert care they need and/or an inpatient’s out of town family cannot be with them during a serious illness or trauma. For the past few years, Kathy’s House has been unable to help many families in need of lodging due to a medical crisis. In fact, in 2018 the House turned away more than 300 families (about 600 guests) or placed them on a waiting list simply because rooms were not available. Milwaukee is home to one of the nation’s top Cancer Centers which is why patient referrals to Kathy’s House continue to grow. According to guest surveys, 40% of patients indicated that they would have been unable to access the care they needed without Kathy’s House. It is not a stretch to say that turning people away will result in patients not receiving the life-saving services they need.

The $12,000,000 campaign includes construction costs estimated at $11,100,000, an additional $500,000 for programming and sustainability to help fund increased operational costs in the new House, and $400,000 to cover the cost of the campaign.

As our long‐time hospital partner, Froedtert Hospital understands the importance of lodging and support for out of town patients and their families and has given a lead gift of $5,900,000 to the capital campaign. Another $3,700,000 has been secured toward the campaign for a total of $9,600,000 raised to date. Now we are reaching out to the community to help us raise the remaining $2,400,000 to meet our fundraising and project goal of $12,000,000. We are confident that our friends, neighbors and regions that we serve will join us in pledging their support for this vital initiative.

The current House is 15,000 square feet with 18 guest rooms. The new house will be 30,600 square feet and have two separate wings – one exclusively for bone marrow transplant patients and other cancer patients whose immune systems are compromised by their treatment – for a total of 36 rooms.

The design of the new House allows for future expansion of an additional guest wing.

We have heard our families say many times, “How far would you go to seek the medical support you or your loved one truly needs?” Most would say there is no distance too far. While the House is proud to support people from a wide geographic area, most of the families served are from Wisconsin and the greater Midwest.

Milwaukee is very fortunate to have leading edge medical facilities that provide the best care for cancer and other patients. Our city is proud to host and help those the House serves, and know that the love and caring of patients and their caregivers during challenging times goes beyond geographical boundaries and to the core of our community’s capacity for compassion.

Campaign leaders are diligently fundraising for this time-sensitive project to reach our goal of $12,000,000. Construction of the new House, and fundraising for it, will be complete by the end of 2021.

The New Home for Healing campaign will support building the new Kathy’s House to ensure that we can continue to serve those in need of our services for decades to come. Included in the campaign is $500,000 to help fund increased operational costs in the new, larger House. The ongoing expense associated with operation and stewardship of Kathy’s House will require that annual fund efforts also continue to support the overall mission.

The campaign goal of $12,000,000 includes $500,000 to seed an endowment to help fund increased costs in the larger facility. As well, Kathy’s House has aggressively and strategically increased its operating revenues since 2012 to serve growing numbers of families. A ten-year proforma has been completed to account for all estimated costs and requisite funds needed to operate the new House.

Yes, named giving opportunities are available. Please contact Patty Metropulos, President and CEO, Kathy’s House, at pattym@kathys-house.org or (414) 453-8290 for a current list of those still available.

Kathy’s House will gratefully accept one-time gifts, multi-year pledges up to five years, or gifts of stocks and securities. Please contact Patty Metropulos, President and CEO, Kathy’s House, at pattym@kathys-house.org or (414) 453-8290 for details.