Even under the best circumstances, serious illness means stressful disruptions to a family’s life, routine, and financial situation. When treatment is far from home, and in an unfamiliar town, families experience additional anxiety and financial burdens.

At SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals, patients and their loved ones who travel great distances for life-saving procedures and serious illnesses find a safe, nurturing, affordable home. Caring volunteers and staff serve over 2,200 guests a year, helping them rest, heal, and gather strength when they need it most.

Amy Burriss is a retired Navy veteran from Taylorsville, NC, who stays at Family House during her post-double lung transplant appointments. “I’ve met life long friends at Family House. We motivate each other, encourage each other, pray for each other – it gives me a sense of home and peace of mind.”

Family House is a critical link in alleviating barriers to accessing the highest-quality health care. Guests come to UNC Hospitals from every county in North Carolina, and from many other states and countries. More than half are receiving treatment for cancer, and others are healing from burns, organ transplants, eating disorders, and other serious illnesses.

Guests stay for days, weeks, and months at a time, and pay what they can. Donor support from individuals, corporations, foundations, and churches offsets actual operational costs so that Family House can offer affordable room rates ($45 nightly for a standard room and $60 for a suite).

Triangle-area volunteers are essential to helping make Family House a home. As guests enter Family House after a long day at UNC Hospitals, they meet the rest of their care team. Front desk volunteers greet them with a warm smile, other families share comfort over dinner prepared by volunteer meal teams, and often, volunteer musicians provide uplifting after-dinner entertainment.

The reality is that serious illness is indiscriminate. It can strike any family at any time, and when it does, Family House is here to help guests find normalcy over upheaval and reassurance over uncertainty. Find out how you can be involved at Family House and have positive impact on the health of patients and families: https://www.secufamilyhouse.org