St. James Inn offers free housing to families facing medical crises

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Janet and Thomas Coyne said the St. James Inn, which provides families facing medical crises free housing, is a blessing.

Expensive medical bills can bankrupt a family, but a cost often forgotten about is the lodging expenses families must pay to be near their loved ones in the hospital.

Many face the situation that Janet Coyne is in; as she oversees every detail of her husband's medical care.

"I'm not allowed to leave him. He has to have 24/7 care so I'm not able to do my job either or go home," Coyne explained.

In January, 62-year-old Thomas Coyne had a massive heart attack and now needs a heart transplant.

Doctors need the Coynes, who are from Palmdale, to stay no more than 10 minutes from Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical center.

The couple soon learned about St. James Inn, which is a charity that helps families facing a medical crisis stay at one of its two three-bedroom homes located just minutes from UCLA for free.

"We were so blessed to find St. James Inn," Janet Coyne said. "Without it I don't know what we would do. We'd have to try and find a hotel room, or something, and we can't afford that."

In its 27 years of existence, St. James Inn has serviced more than 1,100 families. But in the past year it's had to turn away about 80 families.

With the demand growing, volunteer Matt McCoy said the organization is hoping to expand.

"We're trying to buy a third home and after that a fourth home because the need, it never ends," McCoy said.

All the employees at St. James Inn are volunteers, as every penny raised goes to the charity. The non-profit group is hosting its annual fundraiser on Saturday.

To learn more about how you can help, click here.

Related Topics:
healthhealthy livingcharityvolunteerismUCLAmedicalhealth carehousingWestwoodLos Angeles
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