Who is eligible to stay?
You are eligible to stay at the Ronald McDonald House if you live a distance from the hospital and the child or young adult receiving treatment is 21 years of age or younger. When our house is at full capacity, the severity of the patient’s illness and the family’s distance from home are factors considered in allocating rooms.
How can I request a room?
Often, families are referred to the Ronald McDonald House by hospital nurses or social workers, but you may also request lodging yourself. Due to the high demand for rooms, we cannot accept reservations more than 24 hours in advance.
To inquire about a room, please call us at
(518) 438-2655 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. A volunteer or staff member will record your contact information, ask you a few questions and let you know whether a room is available. When you arrive for check-in, you will be given a tour and information on house policies, and asked to complete and sign the registration forms.
If no rooms are open, you will be placed on a waiting list. Until a room becomes available, we may be able to suggest nearby lodging alternatives.
What is the cost?
We understand how costly a serious illness can be. Beside medical costs, a family’s income often declines when a child is hospitalized because parents must leave their job or take an extended leave of absence to care for their child. For that reason, although it costs the house $80 per night to house a guest, we do not ask you to pay for any of the services we provide. Upon checking out, if a family inquires about making a donation, we suggest a rate of $10 per night.
Despite our no-fee policy, many of our families choose to show their appreciation by making a donation to the house once their child’s immediate health crisis has resolved.
What do I need to bring?
You should bring clothing, personal medications and toiletries, money for incidentals, a valid photo ID and any necessary child safety equipment (such as a car seat). We do have a supply of toys at the house, but if your child has a favorite toy or comfort item, feel free to bring it along.
How long can I stay?
You may stay at the House for up to 30 days. If you need a stay longer than 90 days, staff may review your situation with you, and make a decision based on several factors including your child’s treatment plan, input from your child’s case worker or social worker, and the priority of other families on the wait list.
If you will be leaving the House for more than one night, we ask that you check out with the House staff.
What is the process for checking out?
Notify the house manager and/or receptionist of your departure date. Prior to checkout, we ask that you help prepare the 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.