A home away from home
Affordable nonprofit lodging for hospital patients and their families.
When an adult hospital patient travels to our area for critical care or arrives as the result of a traumatic incident, the family or loved one can be faced with the sudden expense of finding local lodging, for days or weeks on end. Alternatively, they might sleep in the patient's room, in the waiting room, or in their car.
In 2019 a local group came together and formed a 501c3 nonprofit to provide an alternative, so the patients and families visiting our three regional hospitals – Lewis Gale, Carilion Clinic, and the Veteran's Hospital – have a local option for a safe, secure, and affordable environment that offers the kind of warmth and hospitality our region is well known for.
Three years in development, a viability assessment is done, and the Capital Campaign has begun as the vision for helping our neighbors comes into focus on the drafting table.
Neighbor helping neighbor
Modeled after caring communities across the country
There are over 200 independent nonprofit hospitality houses of various sizes across the U.S. helping patients and their families who must travel over 50 miles for life-sustaining medical care.
Now, our local community has the opportunity to similarly support and host the neighbors of our region with the establishment of a 30-room facility by raising building costs through a true community-funded effort.
Click to locate other hospitality houses in the US.
Walking in the shoes of others
The local impact
There’s no good time to see a loved one enter the hospital for critical care. Whether it's your parent, spouse, or adult child. It can become especially stressful for those who have to travel great distances to an unfamiliar town.
We have an opportunity to help reduce the financial stress for hundreds of families for years to come. Especially those in financial need. (Health insurance doesn't cover hotel stays).
Learning from the success of other hospitality houses in the country, the maintenance and operating costs of the Hospitality House of the Blue Ridge will be underwritten by sliding scale guest fees, established by a minimum 30-guestroom initial build and augmented by a program for adopting the house on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
Long-term, the house will be further supported by an endowment.
Help us build a house of caring –
To magnify, click on floorplans.
Become a Founding Donor
Join our donor wall
Your contribution will help us build what will be an enduring gift to those who need a safe and comfortable place to stay during a difficult time of need – for decades to come.
Won't you join us by making a donation or pledge? Every dollar counts. Your investment in our future will remain local. You can donate here.
Legacy Naming Opportunities
Name a room or garden for a loved one or your business
The boutique hotel-like house will be something we can all be proud of, wrapped in local warmth and hospitality.
It's not often that affixing your name in perpetuity to a permanent facility is within reach.
The three-story structure will have areas and rooms made possible by the generosity of local donors. Permanent, prominent room plaques will identify the contributing donors and the person, family or business being honored, in perpetuity.
Whether you make a single donation or spread it over a multi-year pledge, the various spaces will be made possible by those who want to see our community help others under stress.
Local architect Tom Mullinax has generously donated his time and talents to create the preliminary drawings you see below. As a renowned designer of hospice and medical facilities nationwide, he understands the specific needs of such facilities.
Designed to reflect and complement our local aesthetics, the house will be warm, welcoming, and inviting – inside and out.
Visit our GUILD MEMBERS listings
Friends of HHBR $1 - $249
Pillar Guild $250 - $499
Guardian Guild $500 - $999
Leader Guild $1,000 - $2,499
Champion Guild $2,500 - $4,999
Patron Guild $5,000 - $9,999
Benefactor Guild $10,000 - 24,000
Visionary Guild $25,000+
All Guild donors will be permanently credited on the Founders Wall inside the house.
Become a (Major) Founding Donor
Take the rare step into perpetuity
Working with other hospitality houses, researching national trends, and surveying our local needs, with professional advice on construction efficiencies we have determined 30 guest rooms to be the optimal number at launch.
Each room will be named at the direction of the donor, in perpetuity. Donors will have an opportunity to name and dedicate the room, as well as influence the guestroom's overall theme.
Invest in your community:
The local impact
Healthcare has become an economic cornerstone of the region. This Hospitality House of the Blue Ridge will have an enduring, collaborative impact on the broader community. Your support can be considered making an investment in our community.
The house itself will provide educational and volunteer opportunities including community service credits for high school students and opportunities for college hours for those studying in the fields of hospitality, culinary, and healthcare.
Business ripple effect
The dollars invested here will stay here -- jobs, supplies, and salaries. Making it easier for a loved one to stay in the area for an extended period of time will have a ripple effect on local business spending.
Treating our neighbors from afar with love and support in their time of need has a ripple effect on the community's reputation. For many, the Hospitality House of The Blue Ridge will be an intimate introduction to our area's warmth and hospitality, resulting in direct as well as word-of-mouth goodwill.
Here's how it all began:
Our Origin Story
The spark that ignited the vision
Charlie's laugh and sense of humor were as authentic as his caring heart.
In 2013, Charlie “CW” Cox was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. In the later years of his illness, he traveled 125 miles each way from his home in Marion, VA to Wake Forest's hospital for his specialized treatment. His family would travel two hours from Roanoke to be with him during his frequent doctor's appointments.
A lung operation was eventually required, with a week-and-a-half in-hospital stay. As the travel began to take its toll, the family was pointed to a local nonprofit hospitality house that serves the two hospitals of Winston-Salem, providing the kind of Southern hospitality that city is known for.
Later, when a 9-week regimen of radiation and chemotherapy treatment was called for – chemo 3-times-a-week and radiation 5 days a week – the SECU Family House again provided Charlie and his family welcoming, affordable lodging (around $40. per night), with the comfort and security of a nice hotel.
There, they found comradery with other out-of-town families and patients facing similar anxieties and stress of critical medical care, complemented by the empathetic support of the house staff and team of volunteers.
Charlie asked if Roanoke had something similar for those traveling to the Roanoke Valley for medical care. When the family learned that Roanoke did not, a seed of an idea was planted.
In October 2017, an infection interrupted Charlie's treatment and ultimately cut his life short. But his question, asking about a hospitality house in Roanoke, lived on.
The family's experience of traveling to an unfamiliar city for critical care and being welcomed and embraced by the local community inspired them to ask others of their potential interest in seeing one built here.
Charlie enjoying a hospital burger, with his ever-present smile.
Recognizing that a countless number of families travel great distances to receive world-class care in Roanoke, a group of like-minded people came together.
Soon, a Board of Directors was formed and then a Board of Advisors. A 501c3 was established; exhaustive research was completed; and now, a Capital Campaign has been launched, turning to the greater community of the Blue Ridge for support.
We have an opportunity to help those impacted by the hardships of traveling here for critical medical treatment. You can help build a local hospitality house that will stand for decades as an accurate expression of our community's caring heart.
Meet your can-do neighbors:
Your Board of Advisors
Our heart-centered Board of Advisors provides advice and guidance, by profession and experience. They continue to be invaluable in their generosity towards our efforts. You can click on each image below to learn more about their backgrounds.
Your Board of Directors
As the Board of Directors, we took full advantage of the Covid lock-down to dive deep into research around national trends and survey local needs. As a collaborative team of professionals in education, construction, the hospitality industry, marketing, legal, finance, and business, we are dedicated to the shared vision of helping our neighbors, near and far.