Having a loved one in the hospital is stressful and finding a place to stay that’s both comfortable and affordable is an even more difficult task.
Tracy Sanctuary House in Bismarck is an organization that has been providing lodging and support for families for the last 16 years. Although the organization felts a hit from the coronavirus pandemic, it didn’t stop them from serving the community.
Tracy’s Sanctuary House is a home-based place of privacy and comfort to those whose loved one is facing a medical, life-threatening crisis.
Joyce Gab was one of those who stayed at Tracy’s Sanctuary House last year while her husband Del was in the Hospital. Gab says, “So he had broken 6 ribs and punctured a lung. So he was in the hospital for 35 days actually.”
The organization provides a full kitchen, bedrooms, and living area as well as a church for residents.
Gab says, “We’re from Dickinson, so it’s a 100-mile drive that I didn’t’ have to do every single day. Thank goodness it was last year and not this year because this year I couldn’t have even gone to see him with the restrictions they have because of the COVID.”
She says even with the medical discounts hotels offer, it was still expensive. She says with the help of the social workers, she was able to find Tracy’s Sanctuary House and live comfortably at a price she could afford.
Christina Bond, a social worker at CHI St. Alexius Health says, “It is beautiful to see the families that have gotten to be there. If they need to be there a week or if they need to be there for 6 weeks. So it’s really important that they have that place and they can focus on what’s really important and not have to worry about those other details like hotels and food, those kind of things.”
The executive director of the organization, Kelsey Zottnick says that during the pandemic, they never had to close, but they did limit their intake into the house to keep everyone safe.
Zottnick explains, “Our mission is very family-focused as well as we want to make sure we’re safe with everyone as well at Tracy’s sanctuary house. Because they are obviously high-risk individuals and families.
Kelsey said they’ve helped over 4,000 families since opening 16 year ago.
In order to help even more families, the organization hosts several fundraisers throughout the year. One of them is the annual Winter White Party for a Purpose.
KX News spoke with Zottnick to learn how they’ve had to pivot due to the pandemic, taking the event digitally.
For information on how you can register for this virtual event go here.