We are very fortunate here in Pittsburgh to live in what has become a hub for some of the best medical care in the entire world. Because of this, people from all over travel to Western Pennsylvania for treatment and surgery. Traveling patients and especially their families are often left in the unfortunate position of having to figure out how they will afford a place to eat and sleep for a few nights, weeks, or even months. An additional stress like this just isn’t welcome when you or someone you love is dealing with a serious medical situation.
The obvious options aren’t great. Not every hospital room has a couch where a family member can crash. Even if they do, it certainly won’t be a comfortable option for very many nights. If you are lucky, there might be a hotel near the hospital. But the expenses of a long-term hotel stay can add up very quickly and simply be unaffordable for many families. And even if you can afford it, who wants to stay in a hotel for nights on end? They don’t usually have a kitchen or much in the way of community space. It may not take very long for claustrophobia to set in when you are limited to the same room for days on end.
This is why we are so thankful to have Family House here in Pittsburgh. They have been providing hospitality and a home-like atmosphere for guests from both near and far since 1983. There are three locations near the hospitals in Oakland and Shadyside to provide comfortable and affordable options to visitors who need to focus on health and care, but don’t need the additional stress of search out a cost-effective place to stay. Being treated at a hospital that isn’t so close to those East End neighborhoods? Not to worry, they also provide free shuttle service to get you to and from where you need to be.
The founding of Family House in 1983 was a joint effort between local doctors and community members who recognized how valuable it could be to the overall health of a patient to have family nearby while they are being treated and healing. Removing this frequent stress point from the equation has become a huge relief for the over 235,000 guests that have stayed at Family House since they opened their doors.
The list of services at Family House is long and adds to the comfort. Community lounges and kitchens provide a space to store your own groceries. Volunteer groups visit frequently to prepare meals for all the guests. There is a library, laundry facilities, linen service, and even a workout room. All this with the hope of allowing the guests to feel at home while their attention is rightfully focused elsewhere.
There is a long list of volunteer opportunities available through Family House. Both individuals and groups can likely find a good option that would fit their gifts. I’d encourage you to follow this link and connect with a Family House employee to discuss their needs and openings if you feel a call to serve families staying at Family House.
Events & Giving
Family House’s largest event and fundraiser of the year is right around the corner. On Saturday, September 14th they will be hosting their 36th annual Polo Match at Hartwood acres. This is an all-day, family-friendly even that of course includes polo, but also so much more. There will be special activities for kids, food trucks, beer and wine tasting, as well as a vintage car show. It’s an event that people talk about all year long. Get your tickets here for a fun-filled day that supports an extremely valuable service to Pittsburghers and vulnerable guests that we welcome into the city each year.
I’m truly grateful to know that Pittsburgh has an organization like Family House that faces outwards, welcoming guests from the rest of the world and providing them with a place that can help to facilitate their healing and recovery. There are a number of straightforward and creative ways that you could join with their work and give. Follow this link to explore and join in.