Frequently Asked Questions
Do families staying at the Ronald McDonald House need to be fully vaccinated before they come?
All family members being referred to stay with us must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
Patients who are eligible should be vaccinated unless advised otherwise by their medical team.
If not vaccinated, patients will need to have a negative PCR COVID test within 72 hours of arrival.
How are you different than most Ronald McDonald Houses?
We have Studio or 1 Bedroom apartments for families instead of a room in a House with a shared kitchen. Each apartment has its own private kitchen and bathroom. Guests are responsible for their own meals and groceries. We do stock some staple items in each apartment and periodically have volunteers cook meals for families; however, we do not provide daily meals like some houses do. We do have a community room where guests can find coffee and snacks as well as meet, enjoy a meal or activities, with other RMHC families staying with us. Currently, the community room is closed due to the pandemic, but we hope to open once it is safe to do so.
How long can I stay at the Ronald McDonald House at Boston Harbor?
Our maximum stay here is 90 days, but we cannot guarantee that we can extend a family’s stay up to 90 days since we are now booking out apartments months in advance. Families can stay as long as the child is receiving treatment in the hospital, or receiving outpatient treatment 2-3 times per week. Families should always let staff know of any treatment changes as soon as possible and make sure they have a plan set in place if they need to stay in Boston for longer than their original anticipated check in/check out dates. The Family Service staff will check in with each family and Social worker regularly to assess on-going housing needs. Guests should plan to depart within 48 hours of final treatment. Contact a Family Service staff member if other arrangements are needed.
Can I make a reservation?
Because our apartments are typically filled-we do not take reservations. Ask your hospital social worker to make a referral and we will add you on the waiting list. Although we will try our best to accommodate each request-being on the waiting list does not guarantee a room. Note that families are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Do I have to stay alone or can my family stay with me?
Family members can stay as long as they are listed in the referral paperwork from the hospital. Due to the size of the apartments and the number of beds-we suggest to families to limit those staying overnight to immediate family members.
How much does it cost to stay?
The actual cost to operate a room is $160 a night; however, families are encouraged to donate $10 per night. Payment is NEVER required for those who cannot afford it. The difference is made up through donations. No family is ever turned away because of their inability to pay.
Will I have access to a kitchen?
Yes, each apartment comes with a kitchen stocked with utensils, appliances and some staple food items.
Are laundry facilities available?
Yes, each unit has its own small washer/dryer unit and we provide laundry detergent.
How can I get to the Hospital? How far away is it?
Most families will bring, or rent a vehicle as public transportation here in Boston can be costly, unreliable and time consuming. The Mass General Brigham Shuttle is a free shuttle that operates daily (except holidays) and can be used by anyone to travel between the Charlestown Navy Yard, North Station (which provides access to the TD Garden and the MBTA), and Massachusetts General Hospital. Weekend times are less frequent. Click here for more shuttle information There is a connecting shuttle at MGH that can take you to the Longwood Medical area- where the rest of the hospitals are located. From our location in Charlestown, MGH is 2.5 miles away and Boston Children’s Hospital is 5.5 miles away. But with traffic this could take 30-60 minutes by car. Some families use Uber, Lyft, Taxi or local bus service.
What about siblings?
At this time siblings are allowed to stay.
What about visitors?
During health restrictions no visitors are allowed. If we inform you that visitors are allowed: Guests should limit visitors to close friends and family. Strangers should never be invited inside of the RMHBH apartments. Visitors cannot stay overnight unless they have been registered with RMHBH and have provided a valid ID to the office.
Where can I park?
Each family is allowed 1 parking space-as we have limited underground parking. For families with more than 1 car -we encourage them to talk to the hospital social worker to make arrangements for parking the second vehicle.
What is my responsibility with respect to the apartment?
You are responsible for regularly cleaning the apartment, doing your laundry and any linens used, as well as the disposal of trash and recycling. Also, we ask that you keep the thermostat at the recommended temperature and shut off all lights when not in the apartment.