History of Serenity House
In 2008, Friends of Hospice Director, Stephanie Hamill, organized a small group of community representatives to look for possible options to provide an alternative care for Hospice patients. After several trips to residential hospices and a personal trip to Crossroads House in NY, it was decided that a comfort home would best represent the mission for Friends of Hospice. In July 2012, the Morristown Housing Authority provided Friends of Hospice with a four-bedroom unit to help make our dream become a reality.
The vision for our comfort home care came from a program in Batavia, New York, called Crossroads House, which provided care for the sister of one of our Serenity House supporters and founders, Sandy Johnson. In 2012, we visited the first end-of-life care home in Mooresville, North Carolina, also modeled after a Comfort Home in New York. We were blessed to find out that they are also called Serenity House. They were instrumental in assisting us with the start up of our home and are now lovingly known as our “Serenity Family.”
The need for this type of care targets the most vulnerable populations including those who may be uninsured, those without a capable caregiver, those who are homeless or those who desire an alternative place to spend their last days other than their own home.
What is Friends of Hospice?
Friends of Hospice of the Lakeway Area is a non-profit 501 (C)3 program. It was started in 1988 as “Hospice of Hamblen County, Inc.” by a small local group of caring citizens who wanted to provide the first all volunteer hospice program in East Tennessee.
In 1992, Hospice of Hamblen Co., Inc. started doing business as “Friends of Hospice of the Lakeway Area” and contracted with local hospices to provide volunteer and bereavement support. In 1999, Friends of Hospice started Camp H.U.G.S., an annual week-end grief camp for children ages 6-17. Over the past 14 years, Camp H.U.G.S. has provided support to over 600 children and their families. In 2004 Friends of Hospice established an independent office at the Sun Trust Bank in Morristown and started providing support to all Hospice agencies in the community.
In March of 2013, Friends of Hospice planned to start providing care to Hospice residents in need of a home away from home at the Serenity House.
Friends of Hospice provides financial support to local hospice patients to aid in quality of life needs along with the “Make Dreams Come True” program which was started in 2010 to help hospice patients fulfill a dream. Other opportunities for service include grief support groups and educational training for: end-of-life care, caregiver support and bereavement support.
For more information, please visit the Friends of Hospice website.