Since 1983, Family House has been providing a friendly face, a helping hand, a receptive ear and a comfortable place to stay for thousands of medical patients and their families. This morning, the nonprofit will cut the ribbon on its fourth facility.
The newest Family House is in the recently renovated University Club in Oakland, where the organization will have 48 guest rooms, a communal kitchen, library and computer room. An open house is scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. tomorrow and the first patient is expected May 4.
Guests of Family House facilities - two others in Oakland and one in Shadyside offer a total of 115 rooms - must live more than 60 miles from the city's hospitals and be in town for treatment of an acute or life-threatening illness. Each year, Family House is a home away from home for about 9,000 people.
Although its rates are less than half what most nearby hotels charge, these boutique hotels with a heart offer much more. More than 200 volunteers greet guests, help prepare meals, act as guides and serve as hosts for Pittsburgh by providing a home-like atmosphere to strangers in crisis.
The organization's fund-raising activities include its popular polo match in September, an eat-drink-shop event at Saks Fifth Avenue on May 29 and a dinner-dance May 1 at the University Club. It's good to see this family's house expanding. More information on this valuable community asset is available at www.familyhouse.org.