Kathy’s House: New house ready to welcome first guests

Milwaukee, Wis. (June 2, 2020) – Years of planning and months of construction were focused on this day: Kathy’s House will open the doors of its new “Home for Healing” on Monday, June 7.

The first guests will be Cliff & Denise Smith of Green Bay, who will stay at the new Kathy’s House while Cliff undergoes testing at the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center. The new House is located immediately southwest of the Cancer Center at the intersection of N. 92nd St. and Doyne Ave. in Wauwatosa.

“We’re so thrilled this day is finally here,” said Patty Metropulos, president and chief executive officer of Kathy’s House. “The additional rooms and space in the new building will enable us to serve more people, and the location on the medical center campus will make such a difference for our guests.”

The nonprofit hospital guest house serves out-of-town patients and their families who must stay in Milwaukee for medical care. Metropulos said the organization has been operating at capacity for the past several years due to growing, strong demand for its lodging services. Over the past three years, Kathy’s House was forced to turn away more than 1,200 guests because no rooms were available.

Recent weeks were a flurry of activity as the Kathy’s House staff packed up the old facility, just a few blocks west on N. 103rd St., and furniture was delivered, rooms readied, computers installed and landscaping completed.

“It’s been a very busy time, getting ready to move while we also had guests in the old house,” Metropulos noted. Kathy’s House suspended operations for about a week during the transition. Metropulos said she expects about 40 guests within the coming weeks and has later reservations for more. “I expect our rooms to fill pretty quickly,” she said.

In addition to doubling current capacity, the 30,000 square-foot new Kathy’s House has many updated features. Unique for guest houses nationally, the new facility has a separate wing for patients with compromised immune systems and a patient services room where basic clinical services such as blood draws, central line care and video telehealth visits can be provided by contracted healthcare providers.Rooftop solar panels, the first on the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center campus, help offset heat and electric costs. The House also has a communal kitchen, dining area, library, fireplace, meditation room, family room, fitness room, laundry facilities, courtyard, patio, walking trail and parking, and is fully compliant with Americans for Disabilities Act requirements. 

“Kathy’s House vision is to be the national model for hospital guest houses,” said Metropulos.

Kathy’s House will celebrate its 20th anniversary this July. Since opening in 2001, Kathy’s House has provided over 150,000 nights of lodging, with more than 22,000 patients and families staying at the House.  More than half of guests who stay at Kathy’s House report a household income of less than $40,000, and 40% say they would not have been able to get needed medical treatment without Kathy’s House. On average, guests donate $30 per night, and no one is refused housing if they cannot donate.