by Justin Kree
ODESSA- For family members who have patients at Medical Center Hospital, a nice warm bed is a short walk away.
The balloons are up and the football themed anniversary party is ready to begin in the lobby of Lincoln Tower in Odessa. Friendship Home is celebrating five years of helping families while their loved one is in the hospital.
The idea came about because hotel rooms are too expensive in the Basin.
"The Chaplains, nurses, everybody was seeing people sleep in waiting rooms or their cars. Evidently, Lincoln Tower had some availability at the time so the convenience and timing all fell into place," Volunteer Coordinator for Medical Center Health Systems, Adina Crain, said.
When the family is at the Medical Center, they let a nurse know they are looking for a place to stay. The nurse will let a volunteer over at Friendship Home know that a family is in need. A warm, spacious bedroom suite equipped with a bathroom, kitchen and food is waiting for them.
"It's a home when you can't be at your own. That is a theme around here," Crain said.
The home is located on the sixth floor of Lincoln Tower. Crain says they have served over 3,000 guests from 38 different states and four countries.
Friendship House asks for a $50 a night donation when people stay. However, they will never turn anyone away if they can't pay.
Volunteers are constantly needed and the reward is helping those who need it the most.
"When she was talking about her duties here as a volunteer, she started getting emotional, then it made me emotional. So I decided to come and help those people get in here because I've gone through it," Volunteer, Maria Quintanar, said.
"It's our goal that the patient doesn't worry where the family is staying and the family can be taken care of as well," Crain said.