Partners in Care: Providing the Comforts of Home

By Andrew Vogler

The challenges that come with receiving extended medical care can be overwhelming. There are many factors that must be addressed before patients are prepared to receive care. This requires creating a healthy environment where a patient need not worry about how they will get to the hospital, where their meals will come from and, maybe most importantly, where they will rest.

Receiving treatment for diseases such as myeloma requires lengthy care and must be done in a specialized facility like the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). For many people, housing away from home can be a costly barrier.

“Coordinating the details of receiving cancer treatment away from one’s home in another city or state can be challenging, and we are very lucky to have nearby facilities which offer safe, clean and economical lodging options for our patients,” said Harold Dean, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, social work program manager for the Myeloma Center. “Over the years, so many of our myeloma patients have expressed their gratitude for these facilities, saying that staying in these facilities helped decrease their anxiety and allowed them to focus on their healing.”

20th Century Club of Little Rock
4011 Maryland Ave., Little Rock

Founded in 1941, the 20th Century Club of Little Rock was created to support the American Red Cross and the United Service Organization during World War II, largely by making bandages and clothing, and suppling food items. Later, the nonprofit’s activities would evolve to cancer support.

In 1984, the nonprofit organization purchased a historic home in Little Rock’s Quapaw Quarter neighborhood to provide lodging for cancer patients. Known as the Hope Lodge, it became a symbol of the 20th Century’s Club’s compassion for those receiving cancer treatment. The organization sold the Hope Lodge and began work on creating a larger facility, which opened in 2011.

Located across I-630 from UAMS, the 20th Century Club’s Lodge provides comfortable housing at no cost for up to 21 patient and caregivers, while offering various forms of support such as access to healthy food and community guidance. Overnight stays at the lodge are primarily funded through donations from the community and corporate sponsors. The organization also hosts the Hope Ball, a popular annual gala that supports its activities.

Home for Healing
4300 W. Markham St., Little Rock

In the 1990s, a group from the Arkansas Cancer Research Center Auxiliary was inspired by the Donald W. Reynolds Cancer Support House in Fort Smith, which provided housing for cancer patients and their families. Understanding that there was a critical need for a similar facility in Little Rock, Kent Westbrook, M.D., who served from 1984-1999 as director of what is now the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, met with Sam Perroni, a founding member of the Ronald McDonald House, about providing affordable housing similar to what was offered through that organization, but for cancer patients and parents of newborns in intensive care at UAMS.

This was the inception of the Family Home of Little Rock, now known as Home for Healing, which opened in 2003. The nonprofit organization offers no-cost housing for patients and their families receiving treatment at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s and many other local hospitals. Located across Markham Street from UAMS, the 13,500-square-foot house offers guests full amenities including a full kitchen, a laundry room and living rooms.

The organization has housed more than 5,000 people from Arkansas, 35 states and at least seven countries.

Goodness Village
11610 Pleasant Ridge Road, Little Rock

Due to Little Rock being a health care destination for many Arkansans, it was clear that there was a great need for affordable short- and long-term housing for patients traveling to the capitol city. Out of this demand, Home Away from Home, founded through the Little Rock Church in 1995, provided housing for patients receiving bone-marrow transplants.

Now known as the Goodness Village, the nonprofit organization provides affordable housing for those experiencing home displacement emergencies and patients receiving medical treatment. Located in west Little Rock just off Highway 10, the facility includes 20 fully furnished apartments with plans to add more units.

The organization relies on a large volunteer network that provide guests with services such as transportation to appointments and food deliveries.

There are many other facilities where patients can stay and these are found on our website (