QUINCY — Amy Looten takes one four-hour shift every month at the Quincy Hospitality House. She’s there to help guests, check them in and make sure the home is ready.
And sometimes, she sits with visitors and talks.
“(The house) serves as a respite,” Looten said. “It’s such a stressful time for these people. Most of them are family members who have someone in the emergency room or maybe someone who’s really sick (at nearby Blessing Hospital). Maybe it’s a patient who has an early morning procedure, but they live out of town and they don’t want to drive in the morning. Maybe someone needs multiple days in a row of chemo or radiation, and it’s just too much to go home.
“We do whatever we can to make them feel welcome.”
The house’s board of directors announced Friday that a $2 million fundraising campaign is being launched to replace the 70-year-old, two-story structure at 1129 Oak with a more modern facility. Jayne Pieper, president of the board of directors, said more than $1 million already has been raised privately.
The new home will be built at 11th and College, less than a block from the current site and to the north of the SIU Center for Family Medicine. The new facility will have eight bedrooms with private baths, gathering and conference spaces, laundry facilities and a snack area. Most important, it will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“Those limited mobility folks, those who struggle to do stairs, this (new building) will be great for them,” said Becky Albert, the only full-time employee at the home. “We’re going to have everything on one floor, and that will help so much. You have to go up seven stairs to go in the front (of the current home), and some people can’t get to the basement here to use the washer and dryer.”
Albert says the Quincy Hospitality House has served more than 14,000 people since it opened in 1998. That’s an average of 637 guests per year using one of the three bedrooms and sharing the two bathrooms. Someone from all 50 states has stayed at the home.
“We’re busy,” Albert said. “We need (the new home) so badly.”
Blessing Hospital, its Volunteer Services Department and the Adams County Medical Alliance founded the home, which offers daytime and overnight accommodations for patients and their families seeking healthcare from any provider in the Quincy area. The home is staffed by about 150 volunteers.
Pieper says the current house is drafty, cold and not energy efficient. Two of the bedrooms are upstairs.
The Blessing Foundation serves as the project’s financial trustee. Donations to the Teresa Adams House can be mailed to the Blessing Foundation, 4939 Oak, P.O. Box 7005, Quincy, Ill., 62305, or be made online at www.blessinghealth.org/giving. Contact the foundation at (217) 223-8400, ext. 4800, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“”It’s not an ideal situation,” she said. “This house is not meeting the need any more. But people are responding. People see the need for it, and they have a passion for it.”
Pieper says the goal is for construction to start on the building in the spring of 2022.
The home will be named after Teresa Adams, who was known in Quincy for “her exceptional hospitality and warm and welcoming personality,” according to a press release. Adams lost a 12-year battle with cancer in 2019, and she understood the importance of home and comfort in the process of receiving healthcare, the release said.
“Everything about what we do here was who Teresa was and what we stand for,” Albert said.
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