Voluntaryism in Action: HavenHouse St. Louis – Making All The Difference
HavenHouse is a hospitality house in St. Louis dedicated to providing “the comfort of home and community of support to patients and their families traveling more than 25 miles to receive care”.
Being Libertarian contributor Justin Glassman and his wife recently visited HavenHouse, and knew immediately when they entered the building that it was a welcoming, and understanding, place.
According to Glassman:
“Everyone, from the ladies at the front desk to the maintenance man, greeted us with nothing less than warm smiles and comforting words. We were given a complete tour of the facilities, and even escorted to our room. These people go out of their way to make sure everything is as stress-free as possible on the families already going through troubling times, and seeing as they see families afflicted by everything from club foot to cancer, they have taken on quite a task. Meals were home-cooked and prepared by volunteers, free of charge. Almost every amenity you would expect from home, they try to bring to their guests at the HavenHouse.”
Glassman spoke with Eric Hoffman, who has been with HavenHouse for more than 5 years. His involvement at HavenHouse quickly became more than a job to him. It inspired Hoffman to return to school to study nursing. Seeing so many families touched by the effects of good healthcare made him want to be more involved in the industry. When asked how he would describe his job, he told Glassman it “feels less like a job and more like leading a support group.” You could really tell that Hoffman, and the rest of the staff, make it a goal to uplift the spirits of the patients and their families.
According to Hoffman, there “are just too many inspiring stories to count!”, saying, “Some of the most inspirational stories are our international visitors, kids from other nations wheel-chaired in, and walking out.” Glassman and his wife were actually lucky enough to see an example of this during their first stay at HavenHouse. There happened to be an Oriental family staying there at the same time, and even though there was a speech barrier between them and staff, the staff was just as patient, kind, and accommodating.
Glassman explains he history of HavenHouse:
“Due to the many great hospitals located in St. Louis, there was a demand for a place that offered both affordable, and comfortable, lodging for those staying in seek of quality healthcare. HavenHouse took to that role in 2004 and created something very special in the process. When you walk through the halls, the walls are covered with portraits of some of the 17,000 patients and 45,000 family members that have called HavenHouse their home away from home. You can see the numerous fundraisers and drives they’ve thrown in order to raise funds to make the dream possible.”
HavenHouse’s hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed: They have received the Better Business Bureau Charity Seal every year since they’ve opened, and in 2011 they were selected as a national finalist for the highly-esteemed Mutual of America Community Partnership Award Program.
HavenHouse is an excellent example of how we can solve problems without having to run to government to save us. People can come together and work towards a common purpose and donate their money, time, or even a shoulder, for others who are in need. Not because there’s a law or a regulation to force us, but because it’s just the right thing to do.
Please consider donating or even volunteering at HavenHouse, on their website.
Being Libertarian is very excited about this project and we couldn’t be happier to help such an extraordinary group of people.
Featured image: http://havenhousestl.org