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Imagine undergoing serious medical treatment, then having to travel over 50 miles back home for days, weeks, even months. For many patients receiving medical care in Birmingham, this is their reality. Here’s a look at local nonprofit Red Mountain Grace and how they are moving mountains to make patient life easier.
Plus, learn about their fundraiser Widespread Grace on September 30. Tickets available now.
Who is Red Mountain Grace?
As you probably know, Birmingham is home to some of the best hospitals and medical clinics in the world. But where do patients and their caregivers stay during long-term medical treatment? Especially when they live far away.
This is where Red Mountain Grace (RMG) comes in. A nonprofit organization, RMG is dedicated to providing gracious housing to out-of-town patients and caregivers during their extended medical stays in Birmingham. They achieve this by operating fully-furnished apartments for patients and/or their caregivers to stay at while in Birmingham.
“We are not affiliated with one healthcare system and strive to serve many of Birmingham’s medical communities. We serve a wide array of patients receiving medical care with the main patient populations being transplant (heart, liver, lung and kidney), cancer treatment and families with loved ones in the ICU.”Austin Hardison, Executive Director, Red Mountain Grace
Patients are often required by their physicians to stay close by for impactful medical care. If they don’t know anyone nearby to stay with, a hotel is often the only option. But the average cost of staying in a hotel in downtown Birmingham often exceeds $100 per night.
Enter Red Mountain Grace. Their services provide guests with a fully furnished apartment for just $10 per night. These are hefty savings for individuals, families and caregivers who are dealing with financial burdens from medical treatments.
Inside RMG housing
RMG apartments are designed with the guests in mind. They are comfortable, safe, and a haven during stressful times. Which is quite the opposite to what you might picture while staying in a hotel or hospital room for weeks.
Each apartment is fully furnished and equipped with laundry, full kitchen and other essential supplies. Apartment units are also large enough that guests are often able to have family, caregivers or loved ones stay with them.
All of these things make being away from home and recovering from medical treatment easier, which is what RMG strives to do for those in Birmingham.
What also stands out about RMG is their element of gracious hospitality they provide for their guests.
“We desire to get to know our guests and celebrate treatment milestones, birthdays and holidays with them. They aren’t just another person or tenant to us.”Austin Hardison, Executive Director, Red Mountain Grace
A community impact
RMG got its start in 2013 with just a few families served. As of September 2021, the organization has housed 112 families with hopes of meeting their yearly goal of 150.
But it’s not all about numbers.
“It’s less about the number of families served and more about the quality of stay provided. Because our guests are receiving various treatments and the type of treatment/diagnosis most often determines length of stay.”Austin Hardison, Executive Director, Red Mountain Grace
Currently, RMG operates 19 apartments all within an eight-mile radius of Birmingham’s central medical district. Their future goal is to operate 30.
“Based on the waitlist we have operated this year, our data shows that there would still be a need for housing after adding those additional units.”Austin Hardison, Executive Director, Red Mountain Grace
How does one go about receiving services from Red Mountain Grace? Guests must meet three requirements:
- They must reside more than 50 miles outside of Birmingham.
- They must be actively receiving medical care.
- They must require a stay of at least one week.
All guests must be referred by a medical professional or social worker.
Attend Widespread Grace 2021, September 30
This September, you can join Red Mountain Grace as they celebrate the many mountains they’ve moved in 2021 during their fundraising event Widespread Grace.
The event includes a seated dinner, an art installation (driven by Liesa Cole of Studio Goodlight) highlighting stories of RMG throughout its history and keynote speaker Trudy Cathy White, daughter of Chick-Fil-A’s founders.
- What: Widespread Grace 2021 benefiting Red Mountain Grace
- When: Thursday, September 30 | 5:30-8PM
- Where: Haven, 2515 6th Ave S, Birmingham AL, 35233
- Price: Individual Ticket – $75 | Stay at Home Ticket – $100
*In lieu of COVID cases spiking, Widespread Grace 2021 will have a limited number of guests, along with socially distanced seating.