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Home Away Boston Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: The mission of Home Away Boston is to provide comfortable housing close to the hospital, a caring community of volunteers, and other services free of charge to families with critically ill children. Families coming from afar for their children’s medical care face enormous hurdles coping with the complexities of the health care system, extraordinary costs, and emotional and physical stress. Our objective is to remove some of the stress of daily living and so enable them to focus on their child’s health and healing.

Results: Between October 2012 and October 2014, Home Away Boston welcomed 42 families into their apartments for a total of 1,736 nights. Hotels in Boston cost an average of $256/ night. This amounts to a cumulative savings of $444,416 or approximately $10,581 per family.

Target demographics: Families who have a child with a life-threatening medical condition who travel to Boston for medical care.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Each apartment hosts, on average, 8 families each year.

Geographic areas served: Families who travel to Boston from the U.S. and around the world.

Programs: We cover the cost of rent and utilities in comfortable, family-friendly apartments. We also provide activities and emotional support to families during their stay.

Community Stories

42 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We will be always very grateful with Home Away Boston, the generosity of its donors and the warm and permanent hospitality of its staff. Our son needed Proton Radiation treatment that took about 8 weeks. We were much stressed for all that we were going through with our son but also for leaving our country in South America and having to spend two month away from home and far away from our other kids, family and friends . We do not have enough words to thank Home Away Boston for their help to us in this difficult moment, which not only alleviated a lot the economic stress but also gave us a warm and homey place to live. The apartment was beautiful and very well equipped, the building and the neighborhood is really nice. We actually really liked being in Charlestown, walking around we found a very nice Catholic Church (ST Mary´s Church) and we enjoyed going to the mass there. We also enjoyed the Harbor walk a lot. Our son was feeling very comfortable in the apartment. Also being able to receive our other kids and cousins was very important to us. Thanks so much Home Away Boston, Sara and Kim for being so generous and nice with us!!!

1 Lisa602

Client Served

Rating: 5

Home Away Boston saved us when our daughter had to have surgery and was going to be in the hospital over a week. The thought of her going through all of this was bad enough, but to have to worry about missing work and paying to stay in Boston was overwhelming. We were able to stay in Charlestown in a beautiful apartment that felt like a second home. The support that the staff and donors offered was incredibly unexpected and made everything so much easier that we could function and be 100% for our daughter. I can't imagine what we would've done if we hadn't been fortunate enough to find them. There isn't enough I can say to express just how much we appreciate all they did for us.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

After our two year old son experienced a stroke, we found ourselves in Boston at Spaulding Rehab Hospital with the stress of needing to find living arrangements during his stay. My application for HAB was answered almost immediately and I was able to stay in one of their beautiful apartments until our son was discharged. I can't express how grateful I was to be given the opportunity to stay so close to Spaulding (my wife was able to spend each night with our son). The staff is professional and extremely helpful and the apartment was amazing. To have such a stress-free living arrangement allowed my wife and I to focus on the care our son required as his recovery progressed. We will forever be grateful to the HAB organization.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We can't say enough good things about our experience. Our son needed Proton Radiation treatment that took about 7 weeks. The apartment was exactly what we needed and came with all the amenities of home. The building is beautiful. We actually really liked being in Charlestown...a little away from the madness of the hospital. The shuttle was perfect to get us to and from treatment. We met some other really wonderful families there and it made us feel not so alone. Spaulding Rehabilitation Center's playground is right next-door and amazing. We played there almost every day. They have a really nice cafeteria too that's open late with some nice outside seating. There is a super hip restaurant nearby (Brewer's Fork) where we went for brunch every Sunday, especially when we had people visiting. The water taxi is fun for kids and gets you downtown quick and easy. When our son was feeling well it felt like we were on vacation. It's a great place and we'll be grateful for the rest of our lives that we got to stay there.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Home Away Boston was really a godsend for our family. We are from TX and and our daughter suffered an injury at Logan Airport just before we went home. After CPR and two weeks in the ICU at Mass General, she was transferred to Spaulding rehab hospital in Jamestown for rehab. While there was no apartment open for the first six weeks of our unplanned stay, one freed up for our last two weeks. It was wonderful in relieving part of the financial burden after staying in hotels for six weeks, and the apartment was much nicer than the rather stark YMCA hotel and just across the street from Spaulding hospital.

We just can't say enough good things about it. The apartment allowed us to more easily simulate being at home and there was even space in the garage for our rental car.

Thank you Home Away Boston and keep up the great work helping families in need!!

3 Bethany18

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are so thankful for HAB! Both Kim and Cailin were such a blessing and so helpful during our stay. We were here from Michigan for 8 weeks as our daughter underwent proton radiation for a recurrent brain tumor. By staying here, we were able to focus on our daughter and not have to worry about financials. The apartment was clean and had everything you could think of! We can't speak more highly about this place - certainly wonderful! We are so grateful that God directed us here.

2 kmkfw

Client Served

Rating: 5

We were truly Blessed to find HAB! We stayed at HAB for 7 weeks while our 12 year old daughter received proton radiation and chemotherapy. It took a huge financial strain off our family and allowed us to focus on our daughters treatment for 2 brain tumors. Kim and Cailin were kind and so helpful. The apartment was clean, comfortable, quiet and really did feel like our home away from home. Can't say enough good things about this place! A+, top, notch! Grateful that MGH directed us to HAB.

2 Amber85

Client Served

Rating: 5

We weren't sure where we were going to stay during our son's proton treatment for brain tumors/cancer. Home Away Boston not only blessed us with a place to stay, but allowed us to live as normally as possible! The staff are the most amazing people! Thank you HAB!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Home Away Boston gave us a home away from home while our eleven-year-old daughter received proton radiation at MGH. Leah was diagnosed with a brain tumor in December 2012. After two rounds of chemotherapy, proton radiation was the next step. We live in Ohio, but we knew that the very best location for Leah's radiation was in Boston. We first made an impromptu visit to Home Away Boston during a short trip to Boston to prepare for Leah's radiation. We had no idea where we were going to stay, until Cailin invited us to see the apartment. It was clean, in a safe area, and had nearby transportation to and from MGH. It was more than we could have hoped for. The plan was for my husband to remain in Ohio with our older daughter, while I took an unpaid leave of absence from work to stay in Boston during Leah's treatment. This meant Leah and I were on our own in Boston. After meeting Cailin and seeing the apartment, we knew things would be okay even though our family would be apart. And really, Leah and I weren't alone. Kim and Cailin were incredibly kind and helpful. It was so reassuring to know they were just down the hall or a phone call away. Home Away Boston provided more than just a place to stay. They helped us celebrate the holidays away from home with craft nights, Thanksgiving dinner and tickets to the Nutcracker. We also received tickets to the Aquarium, which was one of our favorite days. Home Away Boston was a blessing for our family during a very difficult part of our childhood cancer journey. We are forever grateful.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

We needed to travel from North Carolina to Boston for our ten year old daughter to receive proton treatment at MGH. The hospital gave us information about Home Away Boston and it was an extremely easy process to get set up with an apartment through this organization. We didn't have to do anything but give them basic information and show up at the apartment for our schedule treatment. The apartment was stocked with basic foods as well as equipped with linens and towels. The apartment is very clean and in a wonderful quiet neighborhood in Charlestown.

There is a hospital shuttle that runs every 15 minutes 1 block from the apartment that is a great option for transportation. We were also given a parking spot in the underground garage which was wonderful.

Cailin and Kimberly helped us with everything from advice about the city, apartment needs, and tickets for kids activities around the city. They sent out weekly newsletters that informed us to what was going on around the city and in the community center. We especially enjoyed family nights at the apartment where they provided activities and all of the families at Home Away were able to come together.

We are very thankful for our experience here at Home Away Boston. Having the opportunity to stay here took a tremendous financial burden off of our family. We were able to focus on our daughter during this difficult time instead of worrying about the financial impact this trip would take on us.

THANK YOU HOME AWAY BOSTON!!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

We had the pleasure of staying at Home Away Boston during my daughter's treatment at MGH.
The apartment was beautiful; located in the safe neighborhood and with an underground parking, which was a huge plus in the winter months. The free shuttle to the hospital was just around the corner and made it very easy to get to and from the treatments.
Being able to stay at Home Away Boston free of charge was a huge help to us. We did not have to worry about anything as the apartment was stacked dishes, bedding, towels, and even basic food items.
Home Away employees, Cailin and Kim, were extremely nice and made us feel welcome. They even thought about us at Christmas and left us gifts!
We especially enjoyed family nights, where we had a change to meet many wonderful volunteers as well as other families who were going through similar treatments.
We will be forever grateful to everyone who is a part of Home Away Boston organization!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Where would we be without Home Away Boston? I can't even imagine. I am a single, self employed mother. My 10 year daughter had Hodgkin's Lymphoma. After we found out she would need proton radiation I was terrified at where we would end up spending the month or if we would have to make a daily commute from Connecticut. Fortunately for us one of the exceptional staff at Home Away Boston quickly took care of that concern. I still don't know how they found out about us but THEY contacted US!! Not only was it no cost to stay with them but the apartments are clean, beautiful, conveniently located to the free shuttle to Mass General. There is also free indoor parking, an absolute luxury in Boston winters.
In addition they gave us passes to a few sights around the city. I never could have afforded what we did on my own.
We were thankful for family night. The chance to talk to other parents who are going through the same thing was priceless, and kids her age to interact with was a great distraction. I had worked so much through her chemo I never had the chance to track down other parents who would understand. I met those people while getting our nails done by a truly wonderful volunteer. Even after we have been home for a little while and are readjusting to "normal life," we still keep in contact. It's such a help to know others are going through the same thing. Also getting our nails done.. it was great to feel like a girl again rather than a machine. Therapy dogs helped ease the sadness of missing our own pets. Cooking night...to not have to think about it one meal was a blessing and great for the kids.

I cannot speak highly enough of the staff. They are so patient and truly empathetic to what we are going through as parents. Their kindness helped more than they may comprehend.

Home Away Boston is vital and I hope to see the organization grow to meet the needs of others who have to endure such a difficult time.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Home Away Boston can be likened to a modern day "Knight in shining armor", as our life took a turn in to the dark, gloomy world of cancer for our four year old daughter. With the search for the best treatment she was whisked to Boston to participate in radiation at the Francis Burr Proton center. Our family was threatened with the prospect of sacrificing the tight knit support of each other for the best medical attention in the world. That's when Home Away swooped in to offer us a place we could all live as a family. A beautiful apartment, in a safe building, in a grand historic Charlestown neighborhood was available to our family. Not only were we given safety, every amenity one could desire, but most importantly we were given our family ... together. We all were able to benefit from our time together in Boston, but none more than our daughter in some of her lowest times. She had her sisters and brothers to play with and cheer her along. Both her mother and father to hold her and wipe her tears. An infant sister to put a smile on her face from a hospital bed, from her weary cheeks, from a heavy heart lifted in delight. What a treasure and a blessing to be able to be a family. Its affect on us all was one of the greatest gifts we have received.
Secondly, the Home Away staff provided community involvement and weekly meet ups with tenants that helped to make our stay in Boston feel like a family trip, not a medical move. The care for our family and the energy they exerted was a treat to receive.
Lastly, we will not soon forget our time at Home Away Boston, we hope to always look on our time there with the hope and love it brought in our time of distress. In a mixed sense of emotion, I am glad to close the door on the trials of treatment, but the experience was overshadowed by cherished memories and once in a life time opportunities. We are grateful for it all!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We felt incredibly blessed to stay at the Home Away Boston apartment during my daughter's 6 week proton radiation treatment. Coming from Vermont, we'd already overstayed our welcome at a relative's house during the ICU portion of our experience, so having a lovely apartment so close to MGH free of charge was absolutely invaluable. The shuttle was also an amazing perk.

Cailin and Kim couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. The concierge's were also super friendly.

It was surprisingly quiet in the apartment and we appreciated the corner view of the water. The location was also really convenient. It gave me a whole new appreciation for Charlestown (we lived in MA for 20 years prior to moving to VT).

Having food and other household products, as well as cooking, eating, and clothes washing supplies was also such a lovely touch.

This is a tremendous service that is being offered to families who are going through such a difficult time.

Thank you, thank you!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our entire experience with Home Away Boston was positive. Once our initial contact was made, everything happened smoothly. The apartment was expertly furnished and very convenient. Shuttle service to the hospital could not have been more efficient. Family nights in the community room were a lot of fun and a great opportunity to meet other families. HAB made our stay in Boston more comfortable than we could have imagined.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I am so glad a non-profit like Home Away Boston exists. There is definitely a need for the support provided by the organization. Families are ensured a comfortable space to call home for the duration of their child's treatment and it makes a world of difference.
During my time as a volunteer at Home Away Boston (HAB), I was certainly able to see that the mission was being fulfilled every single day. The Staff and Board of Directors work together to continue to enlarge the vision for this non-profit organization. Kim and Cailin whose office is nestled in the HAB Community Space are very attentive and present. They have done a good job bringing family-friendly activities and passionate individuals into the space. Ice-cream making, arts&crafts, concerts, and tours are just a few of the many recommendations hanging in the community space to encourage families to make positive memories during their stay in the Greater Boston Area.
As a volunteer, I have realized that being understanding, present, and open can make a lasting positive impact on the families that come through the doors of Home Away Boston. I enjoyed interacting with families during Thursday Night Family Nights. I am very excited to see Home Away Boston continue to expand its reach! #KeepingFamiliesClose

3

Former staff

Rating: 5

It is great to see HomeAwayBoston continue to grow and serve families from around the world. The very successful partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities has enabled much needed expansion of apartments and the creation of a community room. I encourage those who can to volunteer and donate. There are more children and families who need our help.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family felt incredibly fortunate to be able to stay at HomeAway Boston for the final four weeks of my son's cancer treatment. Kim and Cailin made us feel very comfortable, and they do an amazing job with the apartments. It was nice to have food in the kitchen upon our arrival, and a designated parking spot right underneath the complex. The concierge was very friendly, and the shuttle drivers were very patient and helpful with getting our son's wheelchair onto the bus. Charlestown was just a beautiful, peaceful place to be spending a pretty stressful period of our lives in.

2 Sarah261

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been such a privilege to work with such kind and caring people. As a high school student it has been such a wonderful experience to be able to see how much work and heart goes into this non-profit in order to prosper and expand. The families I get to spend time with are going through so much so everyone at home away really strives to make their lives as easy and comfortable as possible during this stressful experience. I love being able to hang out with the children and I am very thankful to be a small piece of this great community.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 17 year old son and I stayed at Home Away Boston while he was undergoing both proton radiation and chemotherapy treatments at Mass General. The apartment was fantastic and the service provided to us was superb. The first evening we stayed at Home Away my son was experience terrible pain, the front desk was able to get me a cab at 11:45 pm and waited for me to return home safely from the 24 hour drug store at 12:30. His shift ended at Midnight. Greg's siblings, dad, grandparents and friends were all able to visit. I cannot say enough about this wonderful program.

During our stay my husband lost his brother suddenly, upon our return to the apartment we found a sympathy card and a fathers day card for my husband. Cailen and Kim thought of everything. We will always be grateful to have been given this opportunity. I cannot imagine how we would have gotten through this part of the treatment plan with out Home Away Boston. Thank you so much ! The Jacobson Family