Homes needed for familes of patients during papal visit

 (Electronic image via hostsforhospitals.org)

(Electronic image via hostsforhospitals.org)

A local nonprofit that provides housing for families visiting Philadelphia for medical treatment is looking for hosts for the papal visit this September.

Hosts for Hospitals, based in Montgomery County, is looking for 100 people willing to open their homes to patients and their families for free.

When Pope Francis comes to town the last weekend in September, the city is planning for about 2 million people. Local hospitals expect an influx of patients – that happens with such a massive gathering – including folks from out-of-town.

“It’s everyday people like you and me opening up our homes to perfect strangers who come into greater Philadelphia for specialized medical treatment,” said spokesman Steve Schiff.

Hosts for Hospitals has signed up nearly 60 new hosts so far and is still looking for 40 more.

Hosts are only asked to provide guests with access to a clean bedroom and bathroom. In return, guests are asked to make a $10 suggested donation to the organization for each night they stay to help pay for operating expenses.

The organization was founded in 2000 by executive director Mike Aichenbaum who was diagnosed with leukemia at 33 and experienced the high cost of moving his family of four closer to the Manhattan hospital where he was treated. 

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