Frequently Asked Questions From Our Families

Chicago the Band giving out toys at Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House family on Ronald McDonald Bench

Meals From the Heart at Ronald McDonald House

Who can stay at a Ronald McDonald House in Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana?

We serve families of children receiving treatment at local children’s hospitals. For the initial visit, the hospital social worker must refer the family to a Ronald McDonald House to ensure they meet all the criteria. Our Houses are intended for the families of pediatric patients, i.e, 21 years or younger.

How do I get a room at a House?

First-time families must get a referral from the hospital social work department. Returning families may call the House directly to be placed on the daily wait list.


Who do I contact if I know a family that needs to stay at a Ronald McDonald House?

To stay at a Ronald McDonald House, a family must be referred by the hospital. To find out which hospital social worker/case manager is assigned to the patient, please contact the hospital directly. They will call us if the family qualifies.  You are welcome to call the House for help in connecting to the appropriate hospital staff.


Are only low income families permitted to stay?

Family income is not considered in the referral process. We welcome all, regardless of income.


How much does it cost to stay?

We have a suggested donation of $10 per night, but no one is ever turned away because of an inability to contribute.

Are all of the Ronald McDonald Houses the same?

All Ronald McDonald Houses throughout the world share a common purpose to provide a ‘home away from home’ for families of hospitalized children. However, each one has a unique design, size, and character, depending on the needs of the hospital(s) and communities they serve.


How many Ronald McDonald Houses are there?

There are five Ronald McDonald Houses in the Chicagoland area and over 359 Ronald McDonald Houses around the globe. 


How close are the Ronald McDonald Houses to the hospitals?


Ronald McDonald House near Advocate Children’s Hospital 
is across the street from Advocate Children’s Hospital 


Ronald McDonald House near Central DuPage Hospital   
is located across the street from Central DuPage Hospital and just a short shuttle ride from the CDH Proton Center in Warrenville


Ronald McDonald House near Loyola University Medical Center
is a short shuttle ride to Loyola University Medical Center and 6 miles to the Shriners Hospital in Chicago 


Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s
is a few blocks from Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago 


Ronald McDonald House near University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital
is a short shuttle ride or walk to University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital


Can my family stay at the House with me?

Our rooms range in size and can accommodate between 3-5 people. Parents, grandparents, siblings, and extended family are welcome to stay, room capacity permitting.


What are the Houses and guest rooms like?

Our five Ronald McDonald Houses are special and very unique places, but all provide a comfortable, welcoming environment that is a ‘home away from home.’ There are living rooms, a kitchen, laundry rooms, and play areas for children. Each family is assigned a private bedroom only accessible by that family.


Will I have access to a kitchen?

Our Houses have community kitchens fully equipped with all the plates, glasses, pots and pans and silverware a family will need. We also have House pantries full of delicious non-perishable items that have been generously donated for families to use. Each family is also given a small pantry space to store personal food items. Several volunteer groups also visit the Houses during the week to prepare home-cooked meals for the families.


Will I have access to a laundry room?

Our Houses have laundry rooms with washing machines and dryers. The machines are available to all registered families and are free of charge. Detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets are also provided at no cost.


Do the bedrooms have telephones and voicemail?

Each guest bedroom has its own telephone and voicemail system. Messages can be left in voicemail when the family is out of the House. Local calls can be made from the bedroom phones, but all other calls require a calling card.


Do I have to bring my own linens?

The Houses are happy to provide towels and bed linens.


Are the Houses wheelchair accessible?

Yes. The Houses each have elevators that run between floors, and large bathrooms equipped to accommodate wheelchairs. However, not all rooms are wheelchair accessible, so proper accommodations should be requested when requesting a room.


Can I have visitors at the House?

Visitors are welcome during daytime hours. All visitors are asked to sign in at the office and must remain with their host family at all times.