A project that has been more than five years in the making has at last broken ground in the city of Auburn.
The Toni and Trish House for the Care of the Terminally Ill was founded in 2008 with the intent to provide compassionate end-of-life care in a home-like setting. The organization offers its services at no charge to the patients or their families, generating its budget strictly through donations and fundraising efforts.
"This is a three-bedroom guest house, a place where guests can come and spend with us the last three months of their lives," says executive director Jo Ellen Strieter.
"The guests continue to work with their hospice agencies but we act as the hand-holding loving and caring cousin on their mother’s side that they never knew they had."
Its services are in high demand. Strieter says that for the more than 100 guests they served last year, more than 200 guests were turned away on account of a lack of space.
That’s all about to change as the Toni and Trish House has begun construction of an addition to the building that will double its capacity from three en suite-style rooms to six. The addition will also allow for office space upstairs rather than in the basement, a dedicated staff bathroom, and more accessible amenities that include wider doorways.
Construction began the beginning of June and is expected to take five months to complete.
The addition marks another period of growth for the organization. Since its founding, the Toni and Trish House had leased its facilities from the St. Gabriel Parish until purchasing the building and surrounding nine acres two years ago.
Strieter says that the Toni and Trish House is the next best thing to home, whether for those guests with family who can’t provide proper care or for those who have no family at all.
"We offer a retreat for people," she says. "Our motto is that no one dies alone."
The Toni and Trish House for the Care of the Terminally Ill is located at 4699 11 Mile Rd. in Auburn.
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