Welcome to the House That Love Built
In times of stress, you need good food, a community of people who understand what you are going through, a comfortable place to rest your head, and the closeness of your family. That’s what you get at the Ronald McDonald House.
Staying with us offers:
Clean, comfortable spaces for daily living
Quiet, peaceful places to rest and recharge
Freshly made meals prepared by caring volunteers
Convenient access to nearby hospitals, including the Bernard & Millie Duker Children's Hospital at Albany Med
A community of families and friends you can relate to
This is the house where families meet
to continue their lives, to eat and sleep,
to find their strength and dry their tears,
to look forward with hope to better years.
This is the house that becomes their home.
This is the house that love built.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to stay?
We serve families of patients ages 21 years or younger who are receiving treatment at nearby hospitals at a distance from their home. When the Ronald McDonald House is at full capacity, the severity of a patient’s illness and the distance between the family’s home and the hospital are considered in allocating rooms.
How much does it cost?
Families are welcomed to the Ronald McDonald House at absolutely no charge. We understand how costly a serious illness can be. Besides medical costs, a family’s income often declines when a child is hospitalized as parents take extended leave from work to care for their child. Though no payment is ever expected, if a family wishes to contribute towards their stay after check out, we suggest a nominal donation of $10 per night.
On average, it costs $80 per night to accommodate one guest family at the Albany Ronald McDonald House. We rely on the generosity of our donors to provide services at no charge to families. Click here to donate now.
How long can I stay?
Families may stay at the Albany Ronald McDonald House for up to 30 days after checking in. If you need to stay longer than this, please work with our staff to review your situation. Your stay may be extended based on several factors including your child’s treatment plan, input from your child’s hospital case worker or social worker, and the needs of other families on the waiting list.
If you will be leaving the House for more than one night, we ask that you check out to make room for other families in need.
Are meals provided?
Thanks to generous community volunteers and meal partners, a hot meal is provided for guests of the Albany Ronald McDonald House each night between 5 and 6 PM. If you are not available at that time, food in the shared refrigerator can be reheated at your convenience.
In addition to prepared meals, our guest families enjoy full use of two well-equipped kitchens and are welcome to any food, beverages or cooking supplies stored in the cupboards or shared refrigerator.
If you have special dietary requirements or food preferences, you may purchase food, label it with your name and the date (using the markers and stickers provided) and store it in the family refrigerator or section of the pantry allocated for your room. Upon departure, we ask that you please discard any food items that cannot be used by others.
NOTE: Food and beverages are to be consumed in the kitchen, dining room or basement areas only. Please do not take food or beverages into guest bedrooms or other common areas.
How do I request a room?
Families are frequently referred to the Ronald McDonald House by hospital nurses or social workers. Your child’s hospital care team can help you determine if staying at the Ronald McDonald House is a good fit for your family, and if so, they can make a referral on your behalf.
You may also request lodging yourself. To inquire about room availability, please call (518) 438-2655 between the hours of 9:00 AM and 8:30 PM. Due to high demand, we cannot accept reservations more than 24 hours in advance.
A volunteer or staff member will let you know whether a room is available. If no rooms are open at the time of your call, you will be placed on a waiting list. We will make every effort to suggest nearby lodging alternatives until a room at the Ronald McDonald House becomes available.
What should I bring?
When checking in to the Ronald McDonald House, please bring clothing for each member of your family, personal medications and toiletries, money for incidentals, a valid photo ID and any necessary child safety equipment (such as a car seat).
While we have plenty of toys and activities for children, if your child has a favorite toy or comfort item at home, we encourage you to bring it along.
How can I get to and from the hospital?
Albany Medical Center is located within walking distance of the Albany Ronald McDonald House (less than 0.5 miles).
Complimentary shuttle service is available Monday through Friday, from 4:30 AM until midnight. To arrange shuttle service during these hours, please call (518) 262-4444, ext 2. After hours and on weekends, dial (518) 262-3777 to call for a shuttle.
Limited transportation may be available to help families get to and from medical appointments outside the hospital. Please work with our staff, allowing as much advance notice as possible, if you find yourself in need.
Is parking available?
A parking area for families, staff and volunteers is located at the rear of the House (accessible from Mercer Street). Free street parking is also available.
The Albany Ronald McDonald House is a community living environment. We appreciate your cooperation in helping us maintain a harmonious, home-like atmosphere that is safe, secure, clean and conducive to rest and rejuvenation.
To that end, we respectfully ask you to observe the following rules and guidelines:
- Quiet Hours: To allow our families to rest and recharge, we ask that you maintain quiet hours from 10 PM to 9 AM daily.
- Child Supervision: It is your responsibility to supervise your children at all times while staying at the House — for their safety and that of our other guests. House staff are not available to serve as babysitters.
- Tobacco, Alcohol, Drugs, and Weapons: We do not allow the use of tobacco products, alcoholic beverages or illicit drugs anywhere on the grounds of the Ronald McDonald House. Likewise, firearms and weapons of any kind are prohibited. Please consult a staff member if you have questions about this policy.
- Food and Drink: All food and beverages MUST be consumed in the kitchen, dining room or basement. Please do not eat or store food in your room or other common areas.
- General Housekeeping: Though our housekeeping staff does great work, they are not on duty around the clock. We provide cleaning supplies so that you can help us maintain a clean and comfortable environment for your family and other guests at the House. We ask that you please:
- Keep your room tidy and launder clothes and linens when needed.
- Help your child clean up and put away toys, crafts or other materials once they’re finished playing.
- Clean up after yourself each time you use the kitchen. All dishes, utensils and glassware should be placed in the dishwasher after use. Only pots and pans may be washed by hand.
- Keep counter-tops clean and empty the trash and recycling bins when they are full.
- When leaving the House, turn off lights and air conditioning in your room to help us reduce energy costs.
- Elevator Use: Our House is equipped with an elevator to accommodate handicapped guests. Please do not allow children to play on or use the elevator without adult supervision.
- Checking Out: Prior to checkout, we ask that you help prepare your room for the next family by vacuuming, emptying trash, changing the bedding and restocking the towels. Clean sheets and towels may be obtained from staff or volunteers; soiled linens may be deposited in the laundry hamper. Please notify staff of your expected departure date.
The Albany Ronald McDonald House is located at 139 S. Lake Avenue, Albany, NY 12208.
From the South
Take the New York State Thruway to Exit 23. Bear right off the exit. At the light, turn left onto Southern Boulevard/Route 9W. Proceed for approximately 1 mile. At the end of Southern Boulevard, turn right onto Delaware Avenue. Turn left onto Holland Ave and proceed 2 blocks. Albany Medical Center will be directly in front of you. Turn left onto New Scotland Avenue, then take the first right onto South Lake Avenue. Proceed 2.5 blocks. The house will be on your left.
From the North
Take the Northway (I-87) to I-90 East. Follow signs to I-787 South (Albany), then take the Madison Avenue exit. Take a left onto New Scotland Avenue. Go 2 blocks past Albany Medical Center on your right, and take a right onto South Lake Avenue. Proceed 2.5 blocks. The house will be on your left.
From the East
Take I-90 West to I-787 South (Albany). Exit at Madison Avenue. Go west on Madison Avenue for approximately 1 mile. Take a left onto New Scotland Avenue. Go 2 blocks past Albany Medical Center on your right, and take a right onto South Lake Avenue. Proceed 2.5 blocks. The house will be on your left.
From the West
Take I-90 East to I-787 South (Albany). Exit at Madison Avenue. Travel west on Madison Avenue for approximately 1 mile. Take a left onto New Scotland Avenue. Go 2 blocks, past Albany Medical Center on your right, and take a right onto South Lake Avenue. Proceed 2.5 blocks. The house will be on your left.
- Ronald McDonald House: 518-438-2655
- Albany Medical Center: 518-262-3125
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: 518-262-3979
- General Pediatrics: 518-262-3701
- Pediatric Intensive Care Unit: 518-262-3047
- Pediatric Clinic: 518-262-4376
- Emergency Department: 518-262-3131
- Hospital shuttle service: complimentary shuttle service to and from the hospital is available Monday through Friday, from 4:30 AM until midnight, by calling (518) 262-4444 ext 2. After hours and on weekends, dial (518) 262-3777 to call for a shuttle.
- Bus – Trailways: 518-436-9651
- Bus – Greyhound: 518-434-0121
- Train – Amtrak: 518-465-9971
- Taxi – Yellow Cab: 518-434-2222