I am writing to share some very major and exciting news regarding the Believe In Tomorrow Children’s House at Johns Hopkins.
Over the past year, we have been in discussions with the Johns Hopkins University regarding their interest in acquiring the land that the Children’s House sits on. While we own the building, the land is owned by Johns Hopkins, and we have occupied the property through a long-term lease. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is expanding and has plans to build a major academic complex on the property that we occupy and the surrounding parking lots. Several weeks ago, we signed an agreement that will allow JHU to acquire the property, and in return, JHU will help to fund the construction of a major new Believe In Tomorrow Children’s House at Johns Hopkins that will be located close to the hospital. The agreement will allow us to reimagine the concept of pediatric hospital housing and build a truly unique world-class facility that will meet the needs of critically ill children and their families for many years to come. And most importantly, Believe In Tomorrow will own both the building and the land.
So what does this mean for our pediatric hospital housing mission in the near future? After this year’s holiday season, the Children’s House will no longer accept families into the McElderry Street location. Under the terms of our agreement, we will maintain a moderate number of rooms for families to stay at the Residence Inn by Marriott Johns Hopkins Medical Campus location, where we will continue to serve families being treated at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center until our new building is constructed. We will spend the months of January and February unwinding our operations at the Children’s House McElderry Street location, and at the end of February, we will vacate the building. Sometime in March or April of next year, the building will be demolished. Most of our Children’s House staff will be moving to our Catonsville office where they will participate in the planning and opening of our new facility that is expected to be completed in the next three years.
Our goal is to make the new Believe In Tomorrow Children’s House at Johns Hopkins the best pediatric residential facility of its kind in the world. Current plans call for a building that will house between 18 to 20 families at a time, and utilize the latest technologies to meet the parental and medical needs of today. A preview of some planned amenities include: onsite evening and overnight security provided by Johns Hopkins; onsite parking; soundproof rooms with coffee and tea maker; high speed internet; cable television; a rooftop terrace; fitness and meditation spaces; communal dining, play and recreation areas and a business center. The planned location for the new facility is approximately two blocks from the front of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. For the past nine months, we have been working with JHU to secure the acquisition of the property, and we hope to be able to announce the exact location in the very near future.
The Children’s House at Johns Hopkins has provided extraordinary service to thousands of families over the past 30 years. During that time, thanks to you and our many donors and volunteers like you, the Children’s House has provided over 600,000 overnight accommodations to some of the most fragile pediatric patients being treated at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. Although that is an incredible accomplishment that we can all be very proud of, I think that some of our most important work lies ahead of us. In the days and months ahead, we will be embarking on a new journey of hope, kindness, and healing that will continue on for the next 30 years and beyond. It is a mission of love that I hope you will continue to be a part of.
As further information becomes available, we will keep you informed of the progress, and of ways that you can be a part of this new chapter in the life of the Believe In Tomorrow Children’s House at Johns Hopkins. Together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of many families and the world we live in. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, concerns, or thoughts that you may have in relation to this news. I know this may be very unexpected news to you. It certainly was unexpected when we learned of the JHU plans a little over a year ago. Although this has created some significant challenges, it has also created a very unique opportunity to ensure the success of our Believe In Tomorrow mission at Johns Hopkins and to reimagine and redefine the concept of pediatric hospital housing. It certainly reflects the phrase, “When one door closes, another opens.”
Thank you so much for your support.
Brian R. Morrison