Thousands served by hospital hospitality home
If you were to drive to 314 Hibben Street ten years ago, you would have seen a decrepit, old house taken over by weeds, missing shingles, and with broken windows—a house in such poor shape, it’d be hard to imagine much potential for it.
So how is it that this house went from essentially being junk, to the answer to many people’s prayers?
Tammy, is one of over 1,000 people who have stayed at this house. And we should mention, it looks a little different these days.
Twelve years ago, Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church bought the house to tear it down for additional parking.
Unbeknownst to the church at the time of the purchase, this house was ultimately not allowed to be torn down since it was over 100 years old. This would prove to be, for many, a blessing in disguise.
The church devised a committee which came up with the idea for the house to become a hospital hospitality house—a home for family members to stay when loved ones are receiving medical treatment in the area: The Hope House.
After one and a half years, with a workforce comprised of the youngest church members busy making artwork for the walls to the older members assisting in everything from painting to installing new cabinetry and floors, the house opened its doors.
The three-bedroom house, which can provide lodging for 12 people each night, is something out of a magazine. With the perfect amount of character and charm, families can feel comfortable in their home away from home. Sitting in the living room, it felt particularly cozy, almost like being at a bed and breakfast.
Beth Moore, the director of Hope House, coordinates and manages the guests who come to stay. Guests are referred by social workers and case managers at hospitals and stay free of charge. If you are 18 years or older and have a loved one in an area hospital, you’re welcome here.
“To give everyone a chance, guests are given up to a two-week stay and can stay additional time if no one is on the waiting list,” Moore says.
For Tammy, who is on her second stay, the Hope House is the one thing that makes dealing with a sick spouse somewhat manageable.
“The staff is so pleasant, they act like you’re doing them a favor staying here. It’s more than I can ask for. This is such a big help with everything else going on,” Tammy says.
Her husband is in the area for his second kidney transplant. Medical costs aside, between the gas to travel to Charleston, the hotel costs, and the food each day. being out of town for an extended amount of time adds up.
With the Hope House being just 10 minutes away from the MUSC, it has served as a haven of sorts for Tammy, allowing her an escape from the hospital atmosphere and an opportunity to recharge.
The Hope House relies on donations and volunteers. To keep the house running and everything in order, there are several different groups. From the ministry team who provides meals that the guests can pull out at their convenience, to the garden and grounds crew who upkeep the landscaping, and the caretakers and team leaders who take shifts and are there to serve as a point of contact for the guests, everyone has a crucial role.
Because the upstairs of the house is not handicap accessible, the Hope House is especially thrilled about their newly renovated cottage out back. Moore explains that this is for the transplant patients, who are required to stay in the area for several weeks post-transplant. These guests can enter the house via a ramp to access the living areas and kitchen.
Today if you were to drive to 314 Hibben Street, you see a house full of stories. Stories from the thousand plus people who have stayed here over the years, stories from the families who have been given hope in their time of need…all thanks to a happy accident.
To help the Hope House, consider the Adopt a Day program. For a $50 donation, you can sponsor the home in honor of a loved one.