From the June 2015 issue

Ronald McDonald House Gets New Digs in Detroit

There’s a new house on the block. The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southeast Michigan has moved its Detroit lodging location to a bigger space – and it’s offering parents a beautiful, temporary spot to stay while their kids are hospitalized for critical illnesses.

This fresh, 16,000-square-foot place has 28 private rooms, a kids playroom and a very engaging, attentive crew.

“The friendly staff understands what the family is going through,” says executive director Jen Litomisky, “and that they need to be strong for their child.” Since 1979, that’s been the Detroit house’s mission: to support them.

Its parent nonprofit company, which runs 347 such houses worldwide, believes that with family near the hospital, kids can heal better and faster while easing the family’s financial burden. In Detroit, the nightly cost for a room fitting up to four is just $10 (that must include at least one parent.)

“We try to serve as a home away from home,” Litomisky explains. “Families walk into a house and leave it as a home.”

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Guests staying longer term have larger rooms with a small fridge, private bathroom and TV. All have access to a full-stocked pantry. “We work with the hospital’s social work department,” Litomisky says, to offer added support services.

Families can stay as long as they have a child in a local hospital (DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan, in particular, is just a half-mile north). Waitlists occur; that’s why there’s a 24-hour advance reservation required and, once a child is discharged, families must check out within 24 hours.

While families’ costs are low, the actual tab per night is $195. Want to help? You can donate money online or by phone, along with toys, house/office supplies and food on location. “Every penny counts,” says Litomisky. Volunteer opportunities are available too; contact for details.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southeastern Michigan

Address: 4707 St. Antoine St., Suite 200, Detroit
Phone: 313-745-5909
Website: rmhc-detroit.org

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