Recently, Almost Home Kids opened its newest facility on the 6th floor of the Ronald McDonald House on 211 E. Grand Avenue in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood. Given its close proximity to the new Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, children and families in the downtown region can now have greater access to transitional and respite care.
Almost Home Kids (AHK™) formed a partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana to support families of children who are medically fragile. While Ronald McDonald House offers families a place to stay, AHK provides services for children after they are discharged from local area hospitals, yet still need medical care and services until they are able to go home. Frequently, parents of children that are medically fragile are not in a position to meet the complicated needs their care requires. Children who stay at Almost Home Kids have complicated
health care needs that usually require specialized medical and technical care. During the child’s stay, AHK staff trains family members on how to care for their children, which enables them to feel confident and competent to transition a child to their home.
An Almost Home Kids family said “even though our daughter requires 24/7 care, we wanted her to be able to live at home, which can be difficult with a condition that requires 24/7 care. We worked with Almost Home Kids, who trained us to manage our daughter’s needs, and now she is at home – not in a hospital. Almost Home Kids helped our family improve quality of life, especially for our daughter.”
“We get calls from families all over the country, whose children are ready to leave the hospital. However, their children have serious issues, and families need a place to receive medical care and sufficient time to adjust to medical equipment, special diets and medications which their children will need. At AHK’s new facility, we will demonstrate the value and importance of transitional and respite care for children and their families not only to the Chicago community, but to medical professionals across the county.” said Debbie Grisko, Almost Home Kids’ President, & CEO.
Almost Home Kids started its first home in Naperville where it provides medical care for children outside of a hospital setting and training for their families and caregivers. Since 1999, the organization has served more than 800 children and their families.
The Coleman Foundation provided a challenge grant towards support for the capital campaign for Almost Home Kids to build the care facility in the largest Ronald McDonald House in the world. The partnership between Almost Home Kids and Ronald McDonald House was a unique opportunity to provide services for medically challenged, technology dependent children and support for their
families in one location. AHK’s arrangements with Chicago area hospitals and medical professionals are an important component to the Coleman Foundation’s interest in encouraging collaboration among Chicago area non-profit organizations.