NEW ORLEANS  – Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Louisiana (RMHC-SLA) opened the doors to its new larger house in the heart of Children’s Hospital New Orleans’ campus, bringing much-needed housing to families from across the state and region whose children receive vital medical services in New Orleans.

“Today has been a long-awaited day for our organization,” said RMHC-SLA Executive Director, Grace McIntosh. “We cannot thank our community and supporters enough for turning our dream into a reality. With more than 70% of our families seeking treatment at Children’s Hospital New Orleans, this house is going to allow us to provide a home-away-from-home for families who need it most.”

Nestled inside Children’s Hospital’s State Street campus, the 17,500 square foot house increases accommodations for families by 47% with 22 guest rooms, nine of which can accommodate four or more guests with adjoining room options for additional family members. Families will also have access to a 64-person dining room, an outdoor barbecue space, game room, playroom, library and other community spaces. The number and size of the community spaces in the house allows for more onsite volunteer-led activities, which is the heart of RHMC-SLA programming. It is in these spaces that families can develop friendships – drawing strength and hope from being together and knowing they are not alone during difficult times.

The new house would not have been possible without the partnership and investment of Children’s Hospital New Orleans, who jointly funded the more than $6 million project. Children’s Hospital saw the opportunity for more on-campus housing for families utilizing its facilities for pediatric medical care and pinpointed two historic buildings on the State Street side of its campus for development.

“At Children’s Hospital, we’re building an environment of health centered on delivering expert care for kids with an extraordinary patient and family experience,” said President and CEO of Children’s Hospital New Orleans, John R. Nickens IV. “The Ronald McDonald House expands access to housing for those in need, while providing peace of mind and respite for families on our park-like campus that is specially designed for children and families.”

Since RMHC-SLA’s founding in December 1983, they have served more than 20,000 families from Greater New Orleans and across the country. With the help of the local community, they help ease the financial and emotional burdens families face as they access critical care for their children. They are that home away from home, offering free accommodations, volunteer-provided meals, transportation when needed, a food pantry and a support system like no other.