Hospitality house welcomes new director, public at open house

Reaud Guest House Executive Director Brooke Morrow

Whether it’s two in the morning or two in the afternoon, trips to the hospital are tiring, not only for the patient but also for those who are there to offer support to their loved one in a time of need. Waiting-room chairs and sofa beds stationed in busy lobbies and crowded hospital rooms leave little escape for the patient support group wanting some long-awaited shuteye or a refreshing shower.

Enter hospitality houses – where guests are able to partake in a little R&R while not having to travel far from a hospital’s campus during an extended stay or exhausting day-trip. For guests of the Albert E. and Gena Reaud Guest House, located on the campus of Baptist Hospital in Beaumont, relief is only as far as the other side of the parking lot. 

Reaud Guest House Executive Director Brooke Morrow said, “One thing all of us will encounter during our lifetime is medical treatment. Whether it is the birth of a child, an outpatient medical procedure, long-term illnesses or abrupt medical crisis, the Reaud Guest House is here for families.”

“Our doors are open to patients hospitalized in any local hospital or patients receiving outpatient care in local medical facilities,” she continued, adding that guests at the hotel-like facility have included patients receiving long-term dialysis care locally, patients traveling to Beaumont to visit bone clinics, and even Southeast Texas residents who choose to use the Reaud Guest House as a perfect place to spend the evening before a procedure and save the early-morning trip. “We provide a comfortable, low-cost place to stay when you need it most.”

Made available to the public through the partnership with the Beaumont Foundation of America, the Reaud Foundation and Baptist Hospital of Southeast Texas, the guest house was sparked by the desire to provide relief from the emotional and financial burden families face by providing a home away from home for patients and families receiving care in Southeast Texas.

“The facility has 19 rooms available, with two handicap accessible rooms and one guest suite,” Morrow said of the Reaud Guest House accommodations. “Each room has a private restroom and two full-size beds. For the cost of $35 per night, families can stay in a safe, loving environment near to the hospital or their doctor. And the cost is a great benefit to families who live at a distance or those who cannot afford a regular hotel room in Beaumont.”

In addition to the sleeping quarters, guests of the hospitality house also have access to a kitchen stocked with food and beverages, two laundry facilities, a computer lounge, and a prayer garden. The Reaud Guest House is manned by volunteer front desk personnel during the day, and security is on hand in the evening. Guests can seek accommodations at any hour, and there is always a person there to answer the phone should you ever need to make that call.

Community support keeps the facility operational and at a reduced cost to its guests. And in honor of National Healthcare Hospitality House Week, the community is invited to spend the morning and early afternoon enjoying the facility, some refreshments and a host of door prizes on Wednesday, July 27, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

“The purpose of the week is to recognize the commitment of volunteers, individual donors, corporate supporters, funders, sponsors and healthcare partners that make it possible to serve approximately 3,000 guests each year,” Morrow explained. “We are so fortunate to have a much-needed resource like the Reaud Guest House in Beaumont. This just gives us the opportunity to showcase our facility.”

As a long-time community servant, Morrow said she is looking forward to growing the non-profit hospitality house in the months and years to come, and welcomes the public she serves to aid in that endeavor.

“I joined the Reaud Guest House as executive director house more visible to our local and surrounding communities,” she said. “The guest house was founded through the generosity of foundations and organizations focused on improving the lives of individuals, families, education and healthcare needs of our area; I wanted to be a part of a nonprofit that made a difference and existed solely to help families stay close to each other when they needed it the most. Previously, I worked for the Catholic Diocese of Beaumont, where I experienced the joy of serving God and the people of Southeast Texas on a daily basis. The personal and professional development I obtained there prepared me well for this new endeavor. I am still serving the community and I am, in a way, involved in God’s mission to heal families. I have always been active in my community by volunteering with children and the elderly, serving the underprivileged, and especially giving my efforts and time to the needs of veterans. At the Reaud Guest House, I’m lucky enough to help those same groups.

“It is beyond rewarding to get to do what I do every day.”

Sharing in the reward of service, Morrow said the Reaud Guest House is blessed to have volunteers, donors and partners who make the endeavor possible on a daily basis.

“The volunteers that provide front desk hospitality are incredible,” she said. “They are former professionals, teachers, nurses, etc., and are vital to the operation of the Reaud Guest House. Our volunteers go out of their way to devote free time to serve our guests needs. Volunteers get the opportunity to offer their time, talents and treasure. They enjoy meeting the guests and getting to know other volunteers.

“Our supporters come from a wide variety of individuals, businesses, foundations, service groups and other organizations. They touch the lives of the guests we serve. The Reaud Guest House’s success solely depends on unselfish acts of generosity; from item donations to financial contributions, our supporters play an important role in the compassionate work we achieve.”

Reaud Guest House Board of Directors President Ed Keller said he is excited to see the labor of love blossom under Morrow’s direction, and is anticipating the project being a benefit to the community for years to come.

“The Reaud Guest House is one of the premier guest houses in the country,” Keller said of the elegant facility. “Much forethought and planning went into the design of the facility. We visited other similar-sized guest houses from across the country, taking ideas from there and implementing them here. We’ve designed this facility to be spacious, homey, and comfortable … because we want to ease the burden on families. That’s really what this is all about.

“We’ve put a lot of work into making this House, and we’re extremely pleased that the mission of the House is going in the right direction.”

The Albert E. and Gena Reaud Guest House is at 3120 College St., on the Baptist Hospital campus. For more information, check out the nonprofit’s Facebook page or call (409) 212- 6500.