Health/Fitness

Miracle House Closes After 24 Years

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Friday Jul 11, 2014
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Miracle House will close after 24 years
Miracle House will close after 24 years  (Source:http://www.miraclehouse.org)

After 24 years, the health care charity Miracle House has announced they will shutter operations after one final fundraising drive for closing costs. The charity provides temporary housing, free meals, and holistic support services to patients and caregivers who find it necessary to travel to New York City for medically related treatment options, procedures, or consultations.

"I cannot express my appreciation enough for all of the support we have received to help us advance our mission," said Executive Director Jesse Ramos. "It is with this legacy in mind that I humbly am asking you for one last donation to help us close with the grace and dignity deserved by a home that served so many. This is indeed our last fundraising drive. The money we raise will go towards paying our closing costs and to help preserve our archives."

Ramos said that the soaring rental market combined with rising operational costs has made it impossible for them to continue to offer accommodations or maintain an administrative office. Their last day in the office will be July 31.

Miracle House was founded in 1990 by a group of friends in response to the AIDS crisis. It was started by a then disenfranchised LGBTQ community whose response to that exploding epidemic changed the volunteer and activism fiber of our country. They were unique in that they provided help for the mothers and other caregivers of people living with AIDS in New York City, back when an HIV diagnosis was essentially terminal and caregivers needed resources to allow them to stay.

The charity operated five three-bedroom apartments located in midtown Manhattan serving over 1,000 patients and caregivers each year. They were the only hospitality home that allowed caregivers to stay while their loved one was hospitalized. Their community Meal Program provided not only food, but something which conventional therapy could not: companionship, friendship and the hope built from relating to the experiences of other Miracle House guests. In their 24 years of service, they welcomed families from all 50 states and over 25 countries.

Those who stayed at Miracle House were devastated by the news that their loved ones were terminally ill, and often learned of their loved one's sexual orientation for the first time as well. Miracle House provided them with a safe haven and support services to go through and process the multiple challenges they themselves were facing, in their roles as caregivers.

Then, in the late '90s, Miracle House extended its services to patients and their caregivers facing any serious illness and traveling to New York City for the best available medical treatments. The organization was founded on empathy, compassion and love, and this mission continued until the last apartment closed in June 2014.

Miracle House received thousands of guests unconditionally, and saved lives. Patients seeking lifesaving treatments were given hope away from home. They connected families in shared living apartments and came to share in their collective joy, or their grief. Lifelong friendships were started through the bond of these experiences, and hope was the common thread.

"I personally feel it was a privilege and a blessing to have worked for this wonderful organization for eighteen years, and deeply appreciate the additional personal support and encouragement I received from many of you throughout the years," said Ramos.

Ramos said that he would always be grateful for the generosity of countless donors, volunteers and dedicated philanthropists who were committed to making a difference in the lives of many, saying, "your collective efforts made Miracle House a resounding success in its long run."

To make a donation, visit www.miraclehouse.org


Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women’s news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes about local restaurants in her food blog, http://brooklyniscookin.blogspot.com/

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