With a $2 million grant award by The Ballard Foundation, a Katy nonprofit organization is making plans to expand its current location so it can serve more people.
Officials at The Ballard House, 21421 Cinco Park Road, want to double the space currently available for their guests coming town for medical treatment. The Ballard House is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides hospitable living quarters free of charge for people and their caregivers receiving hospital care in the Katy and Houston areas.
Kathy Alt, the executive director of The Ballard House, said the organization has 24 rooms, so it can serve 24 individuals and their families or caregivers at a time.
“As of last summer, we’ve been running over 90 percent occupancy rate, which is essentially the time it takes to get a family out, get the room professionally cleaned and get the other family in there,” Alt said. “Additionally, we’ve had a waitlist, for several months, and I will tell you that’s the hardest part of the job is having to tell a family that they can’t get their cancer treatment started because we don’t have a place for them.”
The original hospital house open since December 2013, the expansion would create a three-story building with 24 more guest rooms, laundry facilities, a kitchen area and storage.
“Additionally, we’re going to have a small apartment in there and have a live-in couple that will be on-site 24/7,” Alt said.
Although the plans are currently in the works with an architect, Alt said she hopes the expansion would be done by early 2019, in line with other hospital expansions in the area such as a new outpatient University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center location off of I-10 and Hwy. 6, as well as expansions at Houston Methodist West and Texas Children’s Center West Campus.
“As soon as that hospital opens (MD Anderson Cancer Center), we’re going to get even busier and we want to make that available to those families who are being served out there,” Alt said.
Last month, Alt said The Ballard House serve 151 guest, which includes guest plus their caregivers. Collectively that equaled 666 nights of lodging, she said.
“We want to serve new families as well as our past families that we’ve grown close to,” Alt said. Sometimes, the organization has to turn away families served in the past who need follow-up treatment because of a lack of space.
“The $2 million is just a tremendous gift for us to be able to build and put that into place,” Alt said.
To help with additional costs of expansion, The Ballard House is planning other fundraising events including a 5K race June 3, Alt said.