Becoming a Guest

Our goal is to provide patient-families a place to stay
for as long as they may need

Benefits of Staying at a Host Home

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.

Requirements to be a Guest

HfH lodging is available to all without restriction to age, race, faith, nationality or family size provided that they:

  • Live far enough away from the hospital that commuting is difficult
  • A Guest must have a permanent home to return to live
  • Are a patient, or support person for a patient, receiving medical care at a Greater Philadelphia medical facility
  • Are screened to ensure the Host family is not at risk

Patients are eligible to be Guests as long as they can be independent either by themselves or with the help of an accompanying support person.

How to Apply

Anyone interested in becoming a Guest is invited to call, email or apply online, (English, Spanish and Mandarin versions). It‘s easy and takes about 10 minutes.

Once the application is complete, we contact our Hosts to obtain a home that best meets the patient-family’s lodging needs.

Contact HOSTS for HOSPITALS by phone
484-380-2999

Contact HOSTS for HOSPITALS by email
lodging@hostsforhospitals.org

Submit an online Guest application

Testimonials

Guests speak about the impact our program has on their lives.

I found that I would need to relocate to Philadelphia at 36 weeks so as to be close to CHOP

I almost cried at the kindness. This was a beautiful gift in a situation where everything was so difficult

If I didn’t make this trip my prognosis would not be good, and I’ve got a lot of living left I want to do

Host-Guest Videos

At times of vulnerability, patient-family guests are welcomed into Host-homes.

Hugs for Ella

2 Months at CHOP

Elizabeth & Chris Sebero from Alabama needed lodging for 2 months so their baby could be born

A 3rd set of grandparents

Frequently Asked Questions

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?
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.
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, there is a $20/night/per-family service fee. 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: mike@hostsforhospitals.org.

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 lodging@hostsforhosptals.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