A nonprofit is supporting families in crisis

Local News

As a way to celebrate National Ice Cream Day, Tracy’s Sanctuary House had an ice cream social to raise money to support families during a life-threatening crisis.

“I had to find a place to stay and take care of him. I can’t stay in the hospital bed next to him,” said Todd Mitchell, Bismarck resident.

Nothing could stop Todd Mitchell from being next to his father after he suffered heart problems a year ago. But, the distance took a toll on him when his father had to be in the hospital for four months.

“About every other couple of weeks I would run back down there,” said Mitchell.

Mitchell was a few hundred miles away and had to stay in hotels and even couch surf, making it difficult to be there financially 24-7. All he wanted was help during that difficult time.

“A place to be able to stay and a place to get the support you would want to get. A place where people will understand what you are going through at the time,” said Mitchell.

At Tracy’s Sanctuary House, families from out of town are given a place to stay while their loved ones are going through treatment in the Bismarck-Mandan area. And it’s all free.

“People drive 200 to 400 miles away just to see their loved ones at the hospital. We can house them and alleviate that expense of a hotel on top of the worry of where they are going to rest their head at night, while their loved one is in the hospital,” said Kelsey Zottnick, Executive Director at Tracy’s Sanctuary House.

As for Todd, his experience was life-changing and he wished he had a place like Tracys Sanctuary House to stay while his father was recovering.

The house can hold up to five families at a time and was started in 2005. 200 families stay at Tracy’s Sanctuary House each year.

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