Harbor House relieving families with long hospital stays


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – Imagine being faced with a hospital stay that lasts months if not longer. Some families deal with that challenge in Rochester, but Harbor House is there to help. It’s a house just for them.

This house is just blocks away from Strong Memorial Hospital where families can stay while their loved ones are at Strong.

It’s for people like Mary Cole. She’s from Oregon but has lived here for the past month while her brother is hospitalized for heart failure.

“Coming from such a long distance, not knowing anyone, not knowing what was going to happen, not knowing where my brother was going to be, and they welcomed me into this house immediately,” Cole said.

The idea for Harbor House came from heart-transplant patients and their families. Ten years ago they rehabbed this house from top to bottom, then opened it to families just like them.

Harbor House offers a free place to stay for people whose loved ones have lengthy hospital stays.

“They need someone that cares about them to say, how was your day, how is your loved one today, and make sure tat they’re dong alright and you just don’t get that in a hotel,” Joan Malley, managing director for Harbor House, said.

Harbor House relies solely on funding from the community.

“You never know when you may be the one that’s displaced so helping the Harbor House is, like, paying it forward,” Malley said.

Cole’s brother entered Strong this summer and is still there. Until he gets to go home, Mary’s home is at Harbor House.

Harbor House serves about 100 families every year. As long as there’s a need, Harbor House said it’ll be there.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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