By Emma Haber
In the aftermath of the closing of Hopewell House,Â the only hospice house in Portland, one final hope has arisen.Â After 30 yearsÂ providing compassionate and dignified end-of-life care, Hopewell sadlyÂ shut its doors in 2019. With only months toÂ raise the funds, Friends ofÂ Hopewell House, a newly incorporated 501(c) nonprofit, has launched a $5Â million capital campaign toÂ purchase the property from Legacy Health SystemsÂ and once again open the beloved institutionâ€™s welcoming doors.
Though Friends of Hopewell House has the right to make the first bidÂ on the property, Legacy Health Systems may list the property asÂ soon as earlyÂ January, 2021. That means the non-profit must raise the capital before the endÂ of 2020 to make a fair market offer and fundÂ start-up costs.
Friends of Hopewell House is searching ardently for angel donors toÂ step forward and purchase the estate on the charityâ€™s behalf to keepÂ HopewellÂ House alive and in service to the community. As the sale of the building drawsÂ near, the organization is also providingÂ opportunity for the public toÂ contribute via the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe:Â https://www.gofundme.com/f/savehopewellhouseÂ
â€œItâ€™s impossible to overstate what Hopewell House hasÂ meant to Southwest Portland’s Hillsdale neighborhood and the city as a whole,Â orÂ the gap it left in end-of-life care for people of every race and persuasionÂ when it closed,â€ says Friends of Hopewell House President andÂ the originalÂ Founder of the House, Joan Strong Buell. â€œThe thought of permanently losingÂ this special building and property, after helpingÂ over 10,000 people die withÂ grace over the years, is heartbreaking. With no dedicated residential hospiceÂ care home in Portland, the city isÂ missing more than a home; itâ€™s missing aÂ vital resource for compassion and understanding.â€
The Friends of Hopewell HouseÂ have been meeting since the original hospice closed, carefully planning whatÂ this unique-to-PortlandÂ facility and newly-planned learning center could beÂ like. If the Friends of Hopewell House reach their goal, they will not onlyÂ bring backÂ the residential hospice. The new Hopewell House will workÂ collaboratively with Medicare-certified hospice providers and will be staffedÂ with 24/7 RNs, CNAs and volunteers who are specifically trained in end of lifeÂ care, mindful caregiving and conscious dying.Â TheÂ organization will partner with universities to conduct studies in complementaryÂ and alternative medicine (CAM) at end of life, as well asÂ offering a wide rangeÂ of integrative and non-pharmacological treatment strategies to manage symptomsÂ and relieve suffering. The goal isÂ toÂ holisticallyÂ serve the emotional, spiritual, medical and familial needs of residents.
The 12,000 squareÂ foot structure consists of the original historic Tudor home with the additionÂ of a medical wing of patient rooms. Set onÂ over 4.5 acres of serene landscapedÂ and wooded land, the 12-bed facility will offer 11 private rooms, each roomÂ will have a TV, loungeÂ chair, a shared handicap-accessible bathroom, and ampleÂ space to accommodate loved ones. Inhabitants and visitors will have access to aÂ gracious communal living room with a fireplace, a large dining room, a sunlitÂ lounge and a light-filled sanctuary. Providing these spaces isÂ imperative forÂ families to gather, share meals, reflect, watch TV, play music on the grandÂ piano, or catch a quick nap. It willÂ be open to aÂ diverseÂ population inclusive of all races, religions, sexualities, financial resources,Â and ages.
Renewed, Hopewell Houseâ€™s healing influenceÂ will provide educational outreach to theÂ Portland community and willÂ develop a centerÂ ofÂ learning, creativity and positivism with the focus of â€œliving well in theÂ presence of death.â€ This center will provide death-positiveÂ education andÂ community outreach programs for the Portland Metro area and beyond.
Every gift to the Friends of Hopewell will support the singular visionÂ of what Hopewell House has been and what it can be again: aÂ beautiful homeÂ providing peace and dignity for the dying as well as solace for their families.
About Friends of Hopewell House:
Led by long-time hospice advocate Joan Strong Buell, the newlyÂ incorporated 501(c) nonprofit is made up of accomplished hospiceÂ pioneers;Â business professionals; former staff members, including doctors, nurses andÂ chaplains; community leaders; developmentÂ
professionals; journalists; andÂ family members of those who have died at the house.Â
Donations may be sent via this link:
Donations may also be sent via this address:
Friends of Hopewell House
3501 SW Council Crest Dr.
Portland, OR 97239
Emma Haber is the founder of EH PR Group (www.ehprgroup.com) and oversees publicity for a range of non-profit, arts and hospitality clients throughout the U.S.