Frequently Asked Questions
About Our Houses and Family Room
What is the difference between the Ronald McDonald Houses and the Ronald McDonald Family Room?
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City has three Ronald McDonald Houses located on Cherry Street in the midtown area of Kansas City. The Houses provide temporary lodging for families who have a child receiving medical treatment at any medical facility in the Kansas City metropolitan area. The Houses have 80 individual guest rooms with private baths and common living rooms, play areas and kitchen space. The Ronald McDonald Family Room is a smaller ‘house’ within Children’s Mercy Hospital and is a service to any family who has a child receiving inpatient care at that hospital. The Family Room has seven guest rooms with shower facilities and a common living room and kitchen space.
Who can stay at the Houses?
Families with a child 18 or younger treated at an area medical facility, and who have been referred to Ronald McDonald House by a social worker or another medical provider. Families living 35 miles or more from RMHC have top priority to stay at the Ronald McDonald Houses.
Once a family is referred, are they guaranteed a room?
Rooms at Ronald McDonald House are not guaranteed. Once RMHC staff receives the referral, families are placed on a waiting list for the desired date of arrival. Families or their social worker must call 816.842.8321, ext. 115 before 2 p.m. on the day the family wishes to check in to confirm if a room is available. Because of our long waiting lists, if we have not heard from the family or social worker by 2 p.m., the room may be given away to the next family on the waiting list.
What are the check-in/check-out times and guidelines at the Houses?
Once a room has been confirmed, families may check in or check out anytime between 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. A family must check out the day that their child is dismissed from treatment by the medical staff. If the child is dismissed after 1 p.m., the family may check out the following morning. A family must check out if they do not intend to spend the night. It is required that families clean their room and check out with a staff member or volunteer before going home. Failure to comply may result in the family being unable to stay at the Houses again.
How many people can stay?
One room can be assigned per family (based on availability at time of request). Because of fire code, a maximum of six people may stay in each room. Parents are welcome to bring the patient child’s siblings to the House, but day care is not provided. An adult must supervise children at all times while at the House.
How much does it cost?
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City relies on donations to provide temporary lodging. While it costs RMHC $78 a night to house a family, we only ask our guests to make a donation of $10 per night. Guests will be asked to contribute for their first night when they check-in, and weekly reminders will be distributed to guests. If at any time a guest is unable to make this donation, they may speak with a House Manager to make other arrangements. No family is ever turned away due to their inability to make a donation.
Is shuttle service or transportation provided to my child’s medical facility?
We encourage families to arrange their own transportation to and from the medical facilities, but we understand there are those times when no personal vehicle is available. Children’s Mercy Hospital (CMH) is in walking distance of the Houses, but CMH’s security has offered to provide transportation to their facility, as they are available. As funds allow, RMHC is able to provide limited taxi service to other medical facilities.
May I have visitors at the House?
Visitors are always welcome at our House when the guest who is residing with us is present. We ask that visitors abide by visiting hours between 8:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Guests are responsible for their visitors who also must comply with House policies.
What do I need to bring with me to the House and Family Room?
Bring what you would normally bring when you travel to a hotel/motel (i.e. clothes, personal grooming items, cell phone). We understand, however, that you may have been in a hurry when leaving home. Don’t worry. Chances are we have the personal item you forgot at home. We also have laundry facilities and detergent that are free of charge.
Is it possible to get more than one room?
Due to the long waiting lists, only one room per family can be assigned.
Is there computer access?
We have computers at all three locations that you may use for personal use. Our facilities are also wireless, so please feel free to bring your laptop.
Is food available?
A variety of dry and fresh food is provided to families at no cost. This includes breakfast, lunch and dinner items, plus snacks. The Cooks for Kids Program provides a voluntary home-cooked dinner to families several nights per week at all three locations. Refrigeration and a secure, locked pantry area are provided to each family to store their personal food items at the Houses.
Does RMHC-KC provide childcare?
RMHC-KC does not provide childcare at any of our locations. Children under the age of 18 cannot be left unattended at the House or Family Room.
If I’m staying at the House, can I access services at the Family Room as well?
Yes. If your child is inpatient at Children’s Mercy Hospital, please make yourself at home in the Family Room. We understand that it is not always convenient to come back to the House for a meal so feel free to grab a bite in the Family Room. Since the guest sleep rooms are limited in the Family Room, we don’t allow families to occupy a guest room at both the House and the Family Room.
Who can visit the Family Room?
Families and friends of any inpatient child can use the Family Room to relax, refresh and regroup away from the hospital’s intense environment. Each family is asked to limit their group to four people at a time.
How can I gain access to a bedroom for napping or for overnight use at the Family Room?
The Family Room staff assigns bedrooms for napping during the hours of 1 p.m.-5 p.m. The nursing supervisor determines who will be assigned an overnight bedroom on a nightly basis. Please speak with your child's nurse if you would like an overnight guest room. Hours of overnight usage are from 7 p.m.-11 p.m.
Is it possible to get more than one bedroom in the Family Room?
Only one bedroom can be assigned per family.
How many people can stay in an overnight room in the Family Room?
Because of fire code, only two people may stay in each bedroom.
Who can use the Family Room’s laundry and shower facilities?
Families of inpatient children may use the laundry or shower facilities. The showers are closed from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. for cleaning.
How much does it cost to stay overnight in the Ronald McDonald Family Room?
Use of the Family Room is free of charge; however, all visitors are encouraged to support its operations through a charitable donation.