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The Catalyst

Hope House: a resource for visiting patient families

By Sara Stewart
Ambulatory Care

Hope House in Mount Pleasant is a hospitality house that serves adults, ages 18 and older, who have an adult family member in an intensive care unit of a Charleston area hospital. It is sponsored by Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church. photo provided

St. Francis of Assisi said, “For it is in giving that we receive.” This quote best summarizes my involvement as a volunteer for more than three years with the Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Hope House (a hospital hospitality home).

Every other Tuesday after I finish my two-hour “caretaker shift,” I find myself feeling that I’ve received “gifts” from the guests I have encountered. Their appreciation and gratitude in the midst of difficult times never ceases to amaze me.

When the doors first opened in January 2010, few envisioned the powerful impact Hope House would have. The mission of Hope House is to provide a safe, secure, Christ-centered, temporary home-away-from-home for individuals and families in need of shelter when an adult (18 and older) has an adult family member in a hospital in the Charleston area.  

This 100–year–old house has now hosted more than 650 family members and friends of patients in area hospitals. Located at 314 Hibben Street in Mount  Pleasant, Hope House has all the facilities necessary to accommodate guests: four bedrooms (including a wheelchair accessible cottage), 3 1/2 baths, a kitchen stocked with frozen meals made by church members, laundry facilities, a computer for guest use, and television.  Twelve people can be accommodated each day.

Once referred to Hope House by a hospital case manager, guests are allowed to stay as long as two weeks. There is no charge to the guest, but a donation of $5 per day is suggested. Guests, however, are never turned away if they are unable to donate.  

Guests participate in the daily chores needed to maintain the house, and they often say it gives them something to take their minds off the difficult circumstances encountered while at the hospital with their loved ones.

A couple from Connecticut left the following comment in the guest book at Hope House: “We drove all night from Connecticut when we learned our 21–year–old daughter had a stroke and was at MUSC. Tired and overwhelmed with emotion, we ended up at Hope House.  We cannot begin to express our gratitude to the individuals who give time, effort, items, and money to enable Hope House to work as wonderfully as it does. The unexpected but welcome kindness and generosity of complete strangers reaffirms our faith in humanity and the incredible goodness of Southerners!”

Perhaps now you can understand why I feel I receive more than I ever give at Hope House.

For information about the admission process, contact Beth Moore, Hope House director, at or 884-4612.

June 26, 2014



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