The Heart of Mary House (HOMH) was founded in 2022. It sits on the campus of St. Edward Catholic Church. It is a home for terminally ill people, but moreso, it is a refuge for souls. The people who enter the ‘blue door’ as a resident are in need of housing and 24/7 care. There are no geographical restrictions, although most of the residents come from the greater Nashville area.
HOMH is the first home under the direction of the local non-profit corporation, Catholic Comfort Care Homes (CCCH).
HOMH stands apart from St. Edward and the Diocese of Nashville, however, it is seen as a charity which is supported by St. Edward Church and managed by Catholic Comfort Care Homes.
CCCH provides housing for the terminally ill throughout Middle Tennessee. It came to fruition out of an expressed and witnessed need. There are numerous people who, after an acute or chronic illness, find themselves admitted to the hospital and suddenly facing a terminal diagnosis needing to be discharged to a safe environment where someone will be able to care for them 24/7. The unfortunate scenario, time and time again, is that more people than the general public may realize, either have no family at all or do not have family capable of caring for the needs of someone at the end of their life.
The overall mission of all homes under the direction of CCCH is to provide an inspirational, safe, comfortable, peaceful home-like setting for people in need, who are within the last three months of their lives.
Each resident is:
- under the medical care of a hospice agency
- has a DNR
- has a prognosis of three months or less.
The residents are either not able to remain in their own homes or have no home at all. The residents may not have family who are able to care for them during this time, or their family may be experiencing circumstances that make it too difficult to provide the care the resident needs. Admission is based on need regardless of race, gender, religion, or age. CCCH is a Catholic organization, and all homes under its direction also uphold the teachings of the Magisterium.
Founder and executive director, Kim Derrick, worked as a hospice nurse in a variety of capacities over the last several years and most recently as a hospice liaison. In this role she worked closely with case managers within the hospitals trying to find placement for people with a prognosis of days to weeks. Unfortunately, Medicare does not provide assistance with housing costs, nor do they provide assistance to families when they are faced with caring for a terminally ill family member. There may not be enough time or resources to apply for Medicaid, nor a facility who would be willing to take in a patient who is both on medicaid and receiving hospice. There are so many factors that affect such a fragile and vulnerable time in these peoples’ lives, and sadly, often there are zero other options for these folks.