American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Carol Grotnes Belk Campus—Charleston

American Cancer Society Charleston Hope Lodge—Charleston
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269 Calhoun Street
Charleston SC 29401
Telephone: 843-958-0930
Fax: 843-958-9054

Staying With Us

Eligibility Requirements:

Hope Lodge guests must:

  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Be traveling more than 40 miles from home to the hospital for treatment
  • Be receiving treatment either a minimum of three consecutive days or at least three days per week
  • Have a permanent residence (must supply a copy of driver's license or other proof of residence at the time of arrival)
  • Agree to stay at the Lodge only between the start date and the end date of treatment as specified on the referral form
  • Have a caregiver staying for the duration of treatment. If not, guests must obtain written approval from their physician.
  • Be able to care for themselves, evacuate the premises in case of an emergency, and be able to prepare their own meals (or do so with the assistance of their caregiver)
  • Not currently be under parole for a felony charge, and have not been convicted of a felony within the past five years
  • Agree to be admitted no sooner than one day prior to treatment initiation and will vacate the Lodge no later than 24 hours following completion of treatment

 Admission Process click to expand

To stay at the Hope Lodge, guests must be referred by their Charleston-area physician or health care professional. The Hope Lodge staff will put their name on our waiting list.

It is advisable to initiate the referral process well in advance of the first date of treatment as patients are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. After the initial referral is received from a patient's medical team, room assignments are centrally controlled by our referral coordinator, Priscilla Hancock. She can be reached at 1-800-304-0779 ext.6316 or at 302-322-4217. When a room is available, Priscilla will call your medical team so they can let you know as quickly as possible.

Referral Form for your Health Care Professional

 What to Bring click to expand

The Hope Lodge provides the essentials: towels, blankets, sheets, pillows, laundry detergent, etc.

  • Your food selections (you will have your own kitchen space)
  • Personal products (shampoo, razors, hair dryers, etc.)

However, to make the Hope Lodge more homey many guests will bring the following from home:

  • Extra pillows
  • Extra blanket
  • Favorite towel and/or wash cloth
  • Personal items such as pictures, etc.
  • Movies, games, magazines, or books
 Frequently Asked Questions click to expand

What is the Hope Lodge?

Hope Lodges are designed to be a "home away from home" for out-of-town adult cancer patients undergoing outpatient treatment. We are committed to providing caring and supportive environments for patients and their caregivers, our special guests. Lodging is provided at no cost.

How did the Hope Lodge Begin?

Established in 1970, the Charleston Hope Lodge was the first in the country. The concept was established by Margot Freudenberg, who saw a similar facility while traveling through Australia and New Zealand with President Eisenhower’s People to People Ambassador Program.

Margot, now 103, is the longest-serving American Cancer Society volunteer in the nation.

Who can stay at a Hope Lodge?

  • Patients over the age of 18 traveling 40 miles or more to receive outpatient cancer treatment at local hospitals
  • Patients with an active cancer diagnosis
  • Patients who are able to take care of themselves and evacuate in case of emergency
  • Patients who have a caregiver to stay with them (exceptions made with doctor's approval for radiation patients)
  • Patients and/or caregivers may use Hope Lodge during the day to attend programs or receive services
  • Exceptions may be made at the Hope Lodge Manager’s discretion

What does the Charleston Hope Lodge offer?

  • Guest rooms with private baths
  • Telephones and Televisions with cable and DVD players in each guest room
  • Large kitchens furnished with appliances, dishes, utensils and individual shelf space for each suite
  • Guest computers with Internet access for laptops
  • Easy access to MUSC, Roper St. Francis, and the Veterans Administration hospitals
  • Free transportation to guests provided through the hospitals
  • Common areas with games, books and magazines
  • Educational materials for guests in a Cancer Resource Center
  • Encouragement from staff, volunteers and other guests
  • A healing garden with a patio and large screened-in porch
  • A handicap elevator from the parking lot, as well as an elevator inside the Hope Lodge

How is the Hope Lodge different from the Ronald McDonald House?

While both charities began in order to help cancer patients in need of housing, Hope Lodge caters to adult cancer patients receiving outpatient treatment. Ronald McDonald House focuses on housing children and families of children with cancer.

How Can I make arrangements to stay at the Hope Lodge?

  • Referrals are made by calling 1-302-322-4217 or 1-800-304-0779 ext.6316.
  • Once guests check-in to the Hope Lodge they may stay as long as they are actively receiving treatment.
 Services Provided click to expand

The Charleston Hope Lodge offers a variety of programs and services to its guests and their caregivers. These include:

  • Dinners for guests are provided through volunteer groups and donations almost every Monday-Thursday night through the "Dining with Hope" program. A list of scheduled dinners is provided each Monday, so guests can plan accordingly.
  • Several support programs are available: The "Sharing Hope Support Group" meets each Wednesday night, a "Coffee Hour for Caregivers" is held monthly, a Pain Management workshop is held bi-monthly and a Gentle stretching yoga class is offered each Thursday night.
  • A volunteer concierge meets with guests each Wednesday and offers free passes to local attractions such as the SC Aquarium, local gardens and plantations, the Charleston Museum, the SS Yorktown, and much more!
  • The Cancer Resource Center is staffed and stocked with up-to-date cancer information. During set weekly hours, volunteers meet with patients and caregivers to provide information to assist them through their cancer journey.
  • The American Cancer Society Charleston Office also holds Look Good Feel Better programs each month. These programs are available to the Hope Lodge guests, as well as free wigs, bras and prosthesis through the main office.
  • Bingo Nights, game and movie nights are also held on a regular basis at the Hope Lodge

Some programs and services may be available to survivors in the Charleston area who are not currently residing at the Hope Lodge.

 News & Events/Reunions click to expand

Charleston Hope Lodge Highlights

Hope Lodge provides a home away from home for cancer survivors who must travel to receive their treatment. Each year, we provide thousands of nights of lodging to survivors and their caregivers. Thanks to the generosity of our volunteers and donors, we are able to offer this service to our guests at no cost. 2011 was a phenomenal year for Hope Lodge. This report highlights our successes and the high quality services we provided to the communities we serve.


The American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Carol Grotnes Belk Campus will celebrate its annual reunion on Saturday, October 13, 2012 from 2 - 4 p.m.

Holocaust Survivor and Founder of American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge Network Turns 100

Margot Freudenberg's Vision Honored with Record Expansion of American Cancer Society's Free Housing Network for Cancer Patients

ATLANTA - (August 9, 2007)- Margot Freudenberg, a Holocaust survivor and founder of the American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge movement, will turn 100 this year. As she celebrates her centennial, the American Cancer Society is launching a record expansion of the system she created – a network of free housing and support for out-of-town cancer patients and their caregivers while undergoing care. Within the next two years, the number of Hope Lodges will increase to 34, with Hope Lodges set to open this fall in New York City and this winter in Twin Cities/Minneapolis and Grand Rapids, Mich. An additional nine facilities are in development, and groundbreakings for expansion of the Charleston Hope Lodge and a new Hope Lodge in Iowa City, Iowa, were held earlier this summer.

"Forty years ago even one Hope Lodge was just a dream," said Margot Freudenberg. "To see the network expanding across the country to provide support to cancer patients during their treatment is more than I ever imagined would happen."

Hope Lodges, which are part of a national patient service program run by the American Cancer Society, are free, residential facilities for individuals undergoing cancer treatment and their caregiver. More than just lodging, the Hope Lodge provides patients and their caregivers with a supportive environment and sense of community. Patients are surrounded by people going through the same experience and given the space they need to focus on healing. Hope Lodges provide trained staff who offer emotional support, cancer care information and compassion.

In 1970, Ms. Freudenberg, a longtime volunteer with the American Cancer Society, helped create the first Hope Lodge facility in her hometown of Charleston, S.C., with room for nine patients. Since that time, the American Cancer Society has expanded the program. In 2006 alone, more than 17,000 patients, caregivers and family members stayed at American Cancer Society Hope Lodges, saving nearly $18 million in hotel expenses. Patients and caregivers now come from all 50 states and more than 75 countries, including Egypt, Greece, France, Guatemala, Italy, El Salvador, Russia and Switzerland.

"Margot's vision was to offer hope and a haven for people with cancer," said John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., national chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. "Many cancer patients must travel away from home to receive treatment that can last weeks or months. They often struggle to manage medical bills, other financial burdens, and the emotional isolation of being away from home. The national American Cancer Society Hope Lodge network provides thousands of cancer patients with access to the best possible cancer treatment each year and the support of the Hope Lodge 'community.' I'm so honored that within Margot's lifetime, we're realizing her dream and providing services to so many people at such a critical point in their fight with this disease."




Residency at a Hope Lodge facility is a courtesy extended at the sole discretion of American Cancer Society. All individuals who meet the Hope Lodge eligibility requirements will be welcomed regardless of race, creed, citizenship, physical disability, gender, color, ethnic heritage, veteran status, economic status, or sexual orientation. For admissions information, please select a Hope Lodge location.