Families with terminally ill children face challenges that seem insurmountable. They must travel to get their children the care they need and deserve, leading to separation that puts a strain on child, parents, and siblings alike. Families need to be able to stay together through this, but because of the costs of hotels near hospitals, that is not always an option.
The Ronald McDonald House in Fort Worth, Texas aims to provide much-needed support to these families. In 2013, CBO’s subsidiary, Community Development Funding, provided $4 million in New Markets Tax Credit financing to expand their facility to include a kitchen and the Ronald McDonald Family Room, which is located inside Cook Children’s Medical Center. CDF’s investment also allowed them to expand to 106 beds and make façade improvements including lighting, signage, and the purchase of adjacent land which will improve access to the facility.
Prior to CDF’s investment, the House served 780 families per year. In 2014, thanks to the expansion made possible by CDF, the Ronald McDonald House served 967 families (a 24% increase) with a cumulative 14,009 nights of stays. On average, families stayed in the facility for 15 days. They operate in an area with 22.7% poverty, and an estimated 80% of guests are Medicaid recipients.
The construction of the House was completed in June 2014, and created 18 additional jobs, several of which went to low-income people and provided benefits. Subcontractors were sourced locally, supporting 11 small, family owned businesses in the community.
The vision of the Ronald McDonald house is never to turn away a family. Thanks to CDF’s investment, they are one step closer to that goal.