Our Houses are places of comfort specifically for families with children in active treatment at a nearby medical center, and do not live close enough to go home at night to rest. Consequently, the hospital where you child is being treated needs to refer you to the House.
Staying at Ronald McDonald House involves two short steps:
1. Contact your child’s assigned hospital case worker/ social worker for a referral. The social worker will talk to the House and ask you some questions to make sure it is a good fit for you.
If you have any problems finding the right person at the hospital to refer you, please do not hesitate to contact Ronald McDonald House. Our staff will assist you in connecting to the appropriate hospital staff.
GOOD NEWS: if you have stayed at one of our Houses in the past year, you may call the House directly with your room request. No need to contact the hospital!
2. The hospital social worker will submit your referral to the appropriate Ronald McDonald House. House staff will then reach out to you to confirm your plans and to discuss availability.
While we do our best to accommodate all referred families, we cannot guarantee a room for all requests. If a room is immediately available, House staff will confirm your reservation and make arrangements for your arrival. If not, you will be put on a wait list and House staff will contact you as soon as one becomes available.
We are unable to confirm all room requests because we never know how long a child may need to be in the hospital, and we do not want to ask one family to leave in order to accommodate another. Once you are in the House, you may stay as long as you child is in active treatment.
We understand that waiting for a room only adds stress to an already stressful experience. Please know that we do our best to accommodate you as quickly as possible. In the meantime, staff can provide a list of alternative lodging options.
Important things to know:
- Our Houses are clean, comfortable, and accommodating. Each family receives a private bedroom, and has access to a variety of common spaces in a home-like atmosphere.
- Our Houses are intended for the families of pediatric patients, i.e, 21 years or younger.
- Our Houses are intended for families who cannot get home at night to rest, so we accept referrals for families who live at least 10 miles from the hospital where your child is being treated.
- Families are asked to check in during daytime office hours if at all possible (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.), but accommodations will be made if this is not possible. Once guests are registered, you may come and go as you please.
- Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by their legal guardian at all times. This includes parents who have not yet reached 18 years of age.
- The number of family members who can stay in the House is dependent on the size of the room available. Most of our rooms accommodate 3-4 people.
- We request a donation of $10 per night’s stay, but no family is turned away if they are unable to contribute.
- The buildings of our Houses are completely smoke free.
- Families are asked to maintain the cleanliness of their room and to actively share in keeping the House clean and tidy. (As a charity, we rely on everyone to chip in.)
- Since you are sharing the common areas with other families, families must be respectful of each other at all times. Disrupting behavior of any kind is unacceptable. This includes inappropriate language as well as any behavior that may cause stress or discomfort to other families in the House.
Learn more about our five Ronald McDonald Houses in Chicagoland and let us answer some of your questions.