‘Homes away from home’

Ron­ald McDon­ald House Char­i­ties of­fers sup­port to Yuma fam­i­lies

Yuma Sun - - FRONT PAGE - BY RACHEL ESTES SUN STAFF WRITER

Al­though their “homes away from home” are lo­cated in the Phoenix and Mesa ar­eas, the Ron­ald McDon­ald House Char­i­ties (RMHC) of Cen­tral and North­ern Ari­zona ex­tends life­lines of sup­port to fam­i­lies across the state – in­clud­ing those in Yuma.

Last year, with the fi­nan­cial aid of the Ari­zona Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion (ACF) of Yuma,

RMHC served 225 Yuma fam­i­lies who col­lec­tively checked in for 3,652 overnight vis­its.

“This is the high­est num­ber we saw out of all 15 coun­ties in 2019,” said Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Kerry Schul­man.

With two houses in Phoenix and one in Mesa, RMHC of­fers fam­i­lies a “home away from home” prox­i­mally lo­cated to the med­i­cal cen­ter from which their child will be re­ceiv­ing treat­ment. As long as their child is un­der the age of 22, Yuma fam­i­lies are el­i­gi­ble for hous­ing whether the treat­ments are in-pa­tient or out­pa­tient.

For a fam­ily’s first stay, their lo­cal physi­cian’s of­fice or hos­pi­tal’s So­cial Ser­vices De­part­ment sends a re­fer­ral to RMHC, who al­le­vi­ates the stress of the ad­mis­sion process by tak­ing care of it for them.

“Th­ese par­ents al­ready have enough to worry about,” Schul­man said. “So many of them spend all day at the hos­pi­tal, and they’re just ex­hausted. We’re here to be a re­source and of­fer them a place they can come home to at night, have a hot meal and get the rest they need so they can fo­cus on get­ting their child well.”

Ac­cord­ing to Schul­man, what’s par­tic­u­larly spe­cial about th­ese ameni­ties is their af­ford­abil­ity. While prices vary year to year, grants from or­ga­ni­za­tions like ACF of Yuma (which has been a pil­lar of sup­port to RMHC for sev­eral years now) keep the cost low so fam­i­lies have “one less thing to worry about.”

“It’s our goal to help as many fam­i­lies as we pos­si­bly can and not turn any­one away – we re­ally pride our­selves on that,” Schul­man said. “Foun­da­tions like that al­low us to do what we do.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on RMHC, its ser­vices and how to use them, visit www.rmhc­c­naz. org.

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