Groundbreaking ceremony for new Hospital Hospitality House of Southwest Michigan

Groundbreaking for new Hospital Hospitality House of Southwest Michigan. (WWTM/Matt Loughrin)

A ceremonial ground breaking took place on South Burdick Street in Kalamazoo for the future site of the Hospital Hospitality House of Southwest Michigan, which will replace the current facility on South Street.

The land, which was donated by Bronson Hospital, will house the 6500-square foot facility and the ceremonial ground breaking on Thursday comes ahead of the actual opening date in February 2019.

Until then the South Street facility remains a home-away from home to provide free accommodations for families facing serious medical challenges.

Stephanie Laird is a new grandmother and the hospital hospitality home has been her young daughter's temporary home while her baby boy, who arrived ten weeks early, is in the Bronson's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Stephanie Laird said, "Her being able to stay here was just one less struggle of the day."

Not only will the building be closer to Bronson, but it will be more accessible with just one level, instead of two.

RandiJo Goodwin said, "We decided to do it because it's a lot of gas money coming from Battle Creek to Kalamazoo every single day."

They're services the Hospital Hospitality House provides at its current downtown location, but after 30 years it's moving.

Laird said, "I know she's here and she's got some place safe to stay and she has a place to shower and sleep and she gets three meals a day if she needs them."

The new facility will have 7 private guest rooms and baths, a common kitchen, a library, as well as indoor and outdoor play areas for children.

Hospital Hospitality House of Southwest Michigan Executive Director Judy Markusse Paget said, "Right now in this old house, we've had to turn people away almost daily that cannot do the stairs, but need a place to stay. And we know from asking those folks they're going to sleep in their car, they're going to sleep in the waiting room at the hospital or they're going to go home. And then that patient doesn't have the support of family members."

The new design is similar to Kalamazoo's other new hospitality house on Henson Avenue by Borgess Medical Center, which opened last August.

The two facilities are the results of a $4.8 million capital campaign called Two Houses, One Heart.

Laird said, "The Hospital Hospitality House has just been a blessing for our family and I hope in the future it can be a blessing for more families that can use it."

The Hospital Hospitality House still has raise more than $400,000 for the project.

Donations can be made online.

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