About Heart of Mary House

The Heart of Mary House is a two bedroom home on the campus of St. Edward Church and School. The mission of Heart of Mary House is to provide a safe, comfortable and peaceful home-like setting for people who have been given a terminal prognosis and need somewhere to stay and someone to care for them. We are able to host up two residents at a time and provide them with a large private bedroom. We also manage all of their laundry needs, their meals and snacks, and 24/7 care.

Who are the Residents?

A resident is a special guest in the Heart of Mary House. They are treated with respect and kindness, and it is only within a couple of days of their arrival that they begin to realize that they are loved and cared for in a very special way in the home.

Each resident is under the medical care of a hospice agency of their choice. They must have a DNR and have been given a prognosis of three months or less by their physician.

Does a person have to be homeless to be eligible to stay at the Heart of Mary House?

No! HOMH accepts residents from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. We do not facilitate any financial assessments of potential residents or their family. We aim to care for a person who is either not able to remain in their own homes, have no home at all, or no good option when needing to be discharged from the hospital.

Does a person have to be without any family or people to care for them in order to stay at the Heart of Mary House?

No! A potential resident might have family members who are very active in their life, or maybe they have family members who they are estranged from. Whatever the case, we welcome the family of our residents into our home with loving arms. A potential resident may not have family who are able to provide end of life care, or their family may not be able to monetarily provide for the needs of their loved one.

We are not here to judge the needs of others. If you know you are in need, we are here to help! Admission is based on need regardless of race, gender, religion, or age.

Heart of Mary House is a non-profit and is dependent on the generosity of volunteers and donors to fulfill our mission. Volunteers help with household needs like cleaning, cooking, laundry, companionship, praying, reading, and hands-on care if desired by the volunteer. All residents receive care free-of-charge. We are 100% donation based.

The mission of Heart of Mary House is to provide a safe, comfortable, and peaceful home-like setting for people who have been given a terminal prognosis and need somewhere to stay and someone to care for them.

What We Do

Heart of Mary House provides a home complete with dignified and loving 24/7 care. This is done by caregiver staff members and numerous volunteers, who provide assistance with personal care and other duties as needed within the house, such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, music therapy, praying, and more. Our residents are able to spend their final hours, days, or weeks at Heart of Mary House, where they will find comfort and peace, and where they will be able to safely live out the final phases of their life’s journey. They are consoled, fed, bathed, and loved, which is all made possible through the generosity of donations. All of the care and support they receive is provided at no cost to the resident or their family. This fills a critical gap in the services that are not covered by medical hospice, Medicare or private insurance.

Heart of Mary House provides short-term, end-of- life care to people with a prognosis of three months or less. There is a preferential option to treat the dying poor. People of all faith beliefs and those who have no faith at all are served equally in the home. Each resident is under the medical care of hospice. They are able to utilize a hospice provider of their choice. The hospice services are not duplicated in the home. Their medical care is directed by the hospice medical director and they are cared for by a hospice nurse, social worker, home health aid and chaplain. We advocate for our residents and accompany them through the hospice process.

The services provided at the house are meant to be a resource for the entire community.

We not only care for the resident, but we also encompass their family and friends!

The love we give to one individual resident has a ripple effect and the love is felt by many others over the course of time. This is magnanimous and far surpasses our limited understanding of the boundlessness of human love.


Once the person has been accepted into the house, steps are taken to discuss acceptance further with the pending resident or their representative. Together, with their hospice team, plans are made to discharge from their current location and typically they arrive via EMS. Upon entry to Heart of Mary House, our residents are admitted into hospice care. This begins their service with a hospice interdisciplinary care team consisting of a medical director, a nurse, a home health aide, a social worker, a chaplain, and volunteers.

The hospice provider arranges for the delivery of any durable medical equipment (which is already in the home when they arrive). Once the hospice admission nurse has completed their assessment and received updated orders from their physician, the staff in the home are provided with the resident’s plan of care. Hospice provides a 24/7 nurse line, where if anything at all is needed, a call is made and a hospice nurse is on the line. A visit from a nurse can also be made when extra assistance is needed.

Once things have settled, the resident is bathed and dressed in a fresh clean gown or preferred clothes. They are given a head to toe assessment. They are offered food and drink, as appropriate.

The resident and/or their family are welcomed officially into the home. They are oriented to the room, educated about Heart of Mary mission, policies, and working with hospice. They are assisted with any further paperwork, and given a tour and orientation to the home.

All meals are provided by Heart of Mary House, as are laundry services and daily cleaning. If a resident has a particular meal preference that cannot be met by the staff, the family may bring it in for the resident, otherwise the residents are offered three meals a day with snacks in-between. They are offered fluids, unless restricted by the medical director. They are asked on admission about their likes and dislikes and the HOMH staff goes above and beyond to meet their requests.


  • Steve Wilgenbusch, Board President
  • Lee Ann Knoch, CPA, Treasurer
  • Kim Derrick, RN, Executive Director (non-voting)