Staying at the House FAQs
If you have a question that we haven’t answered here, please contact Susan at (410) 528-1010, ext. 101, or by E-mail at email@example.com.
Who can stay at the Baltimore Ronald McDonald House (RMH)?
How do I make a reservation?
When can I check in?
What if RMH does not have room for my family?
What is the cost of staying at RMH?
What is in the room?
Do you provide meals, entertainment, or transportation?
How many people can stay in each room?
The families of children who are in active treatment (scheduled for at least three appointments per week) at any Baltimore hospital are eligible to stay at RMH.
The patient must be 21 years of age or younger, and the family must have a permanent residence outside of Baltimore City.
The first step is to contact a social worker at the hospital where your child will be treated. If you have not already been in touch with one, contact the doctor’s office; the people there will help to assign a social worker.
The social worker will ask you some basic questions about yourself (name, address, phone number, etc.) and about your child (name, date of birth, diagnosis, length of stay, etc.). He or she will then relay that information to our Family Coordinator, who will put in a request for a room on your behalf.
Each family is placed on a “room request” list for the day of their arrival. The family then must call our Family Coordinator at (410) 528-1010, ext. 101, between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. the day before the intended date of arrival. At that time, we will know if a room is available for you.
After we have confirmed that you have a room, you can check in between 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. If this is not possible, contact us at (410) 528-1010 about your late arrival so we know to hold the room for you. Please notify us immediately if your plans change and you no longer need the room.
After a brief orientation and tour, you will be given a card to get in the front door, which is locked twenty-four hours a day, and a code to get into your room. You are then free to come and go as your schedule demands.
The day of your check-out, you must be out of the room by 11:00 a.m. so it can be prepared for the next family.
Particularly during the busy summer months, we often have more “room requests” for a given day than we have rooms available. When this happens, the Family Coordinator and the House Manager together use a diagnosis-based priority structure to decide which families will get the rooms.
In other words, a family whose child is having a heart transplant will get the room before a family whose child is in for a regular check-up. If two children have the same diagnosis, preference is given to the family which resides further from Baltimore.
Two other institutions provide similar housing: the Hackerman Patz House at Sinai Hospital and the Children’s House for patients of Johns Hopkins Hospital. In addition, there are many local hotels and motels close to each hospital.
Each family is asked to pay a guest fee of $15.00 per night. This includes the room and garage parking as well as scheduled transportation to and from the hospitals. We strongly recommend that families pay their bills on a weekly basis. We accept cash, checks and credit cards.
In extreme situations, we can sometimes reduce the fee. Families who cannot afford the nightly fee are encouraged to speak to their social workers at the time of their referral. The social worker will then fax a written request to the House Manager, who will consider it and make a decision.
Most rooms have one double bed and one twin bed, a dresser, closet space, an entertainment center with a television, VCR/DVD player and a private bathroom with a sink, shower and toilet. We provide pillows, sheets and towels at check-in.
Families launder their own linens and are responsible for the cleanliness of their own rooms. There are two communal laundry rooms with washers and dryers that run free of charge. At check-out, please help our housekeeping staff by vacuuming and cleaning the room before you leave.
People can call the telephone in your room (or reach your voice mail) by calling the main number and dialing your room number when prompted.
There are two communal kitchens – one per residential floor – so you will share a kitchen with 15 to 18 families.
You will have your own cabinet and refrigerator space in the kitchen, as well as plenty of ovens, microwaves, stoves, sinks and dishwashers to do your own cooking and cleaning. Each kitchen adjoins a dining room, where you must take all of your meals.
There is no eating allowed in your room or anywhere else in the house.
We have an exceptional volunteer program at RMH of Baltimore. Most days, either breakfast or dinner is cooked and served by one of our volunteer groups. Volunteers coordinate activity hours, movies, birthday parties and other events. Also, tickets to sporting events, museums and other local attractions are often donated by generous members of the community. They can be checked out from the front desk, where you can also find video games, board games, computer games, DVDs and VHS movies.
We provide a complimentary van service to and from any of the local hospitals. During the week, the van has scheduled runs to the hospitals between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (View Shuttle Schedule)
At the time of your reservation, your social worker will ask how many people will be staying here. Our smallest rooms can accommodate only two people, our largest up to five, though neither are guaranteed to be available. Siblings, grandparents and other relatives of the patient are allowed to stay in the room too, but we cannot give more than one room to each family.