Frequently Asked Questions

about staying at the Seattle House

How big is the Seattle Ronald McDonald House?
The Seattle House can accommodate 80 families each night in three buildings. House A houses 48 families; House C houses 22 families, and our Bone Marrow Transplant Apartments are self-contained apartments for 10 families. These facilities are within walking distance of Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Who can stay at the Seattle House?
Families of children undergoing medical treatment at Children’s Hospital who live more than 45 miles from Seattle may stay at the House. Most of our families come from Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. However, we serve families from throughout the U.S. and world.

How long do families usually stay at the Seattle House?
It varies greatly, depending on the child’s illness and treatment. Stays may last several weeks to several months and even extend to a year or more.

What makes a family eligible to stay at Ronald McDonald House?
To qualify, your child, aged 21 and under, must be admitted to or be receiving care at Seattle Children’s Hospital or a satellite clinic. You must live at least 45 miles away from Seattle Ronald McDonald House, and have an expected stay of 4 nights or more.

Who may stay at the Seattle House?
Parents, legal guardians, other immediate family members, and caregivers are welcome to stay.

Is there a fee to stay at the Seattle Ronald McDonald House?
There is no fee for staying at the House. A $30 per night contribution is suggested, but no one is ever turned away due to financial reasons.

How many people can stay in a room at the Seattle House?
Only one room will be provided to each family, and the maximum occupancy per room is 6 people.

What is in a guest room at the Seattle House?
Rooms in House A have two queen size beds and can sleep up to six people. Rooms in House C have two twin beds and can sleep up to four people. When possible, families will be placed in rooms that can fit the anticipated number of residents. In both houses, the rooms also feature a private bathroom, closet space and dresser, television/DVD, telephone with direct phone number and high-speed DSL internet access.

House B has 10 self-sufficient apartments reserved for families with children who have received a bone marrow transplant.

What security measures are taken to ensure the safety of families?
The safety of our families is very important. At our Seattle location, we do the following:

  • Identification will be required for all registered adults and all adult guests are asked to wear green wristbands while in the House.
  • Every family member over 18 years of age will undergo a safety screening, which includes a check against the National Sex Offender Registry.
  • All families are screened to prevent infectious diseases being brought into the House.
  • Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult relative or legal guardian.

What can families expect when they arrive at the Seattle Ronald McDonald House?
When a room becomes available for your family, a Housing Coordinator will contact your family to schedule a time for your family to check into the House. Check in hours are between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily. When you arrive, staff will request a photo ID for all adult guests staying in your room. The House Manager will then review the House Rules, ask you to agree to the rules by signing the appropriate paperwork and then will provide a tour of the House.

What is the maximum stay?
As long as there is a legitimate medical need, families are welcome to stay at the Seattle Ronald McDonald House. Eligibility is based on appointment schedules and medical status, and is reviewed at least every 30 days.

Does the Seattle House provide food for families?
House A and House C each have a communal kitchen and pantry of non-perishable foods that are offered for free to all families. Each family has refrigerator and cupboard space where personal food can be stored. Outside volunteer groups regularly visit the House to make dinners for the families. Coke products are available in vending machines and free coffee is available in our pantry.

Does the Seattle House provide transportation?
There is an RMHC van and volunteer drivers who occasionally take families on outings and shopping trips. Children’s Hospital provides a complimentary shuttle between the House and the hospital by request; however, the hospital is within walking distance.

Are activities planned for families at the Seattle House?
Yes. Groups regularly visit the House to make dinner for the families. There are outings to events and shopping. Movie nights, arts and crafts, visits by Pet Therapy dogs and other activities occur on a regular basis.

Can families have visitors?
Visiting hours are between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Visitors are welcome, but must sign in and out at the front desk. Visitors who have been convicted of violent crimes or sex offenses are not permitted on RMHC grounds. The children living at the Seattle Ronald McDonald House are medically fragile and highly susceptible to infections. Please do not plan on coming to the House if, within the last month, you or any family members have been exposed to: chicken pox, shingles, measles, tuberculosis, influenza or flu, hepatitis A or any other infectious disease such as e. coli, or if you have any of the following symptoms: sore throat, runny nose, watery eyes, cough, fever, chills, unexplained rash, general aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. If you received the anti-flu nose spray vaccine within the last seven days, you may not enter the House.

Can families receive mail or packages at the House?
Yes. All mail and packages should be addressed to your room as follows:

Your child’s name (patient) and Building/Room Number
Ronald McDonald House
5130 40th Avenue NE
Seattle, WA 98105.

Mail is delivered Monday – Friday.

Is smoking permitted?
There is no smoking anywhere in the House. Washington State law prohibits indoor smoking and smoking within 25 feet of any entrance.

Do guests have to bring their own linens?
No. Towels, blankets, and other linens are provided; however, families are responsible for laundering them. Families are also welcome to bring their own linens if they prefer.

Is there maid service?
No. Families actively participate in keeping the House clean and tidy. Families are responsible for keeping their room in good condition, cleaning up after their family members in all areas of the House, washing their linens as needed, and cleaning their room before leaving so it is ready for the next family.

Is there babysitting service?
No. Parents are required to be responsible for their own children and provide supervision at all times.

Is there a curfew?
The House is open 24 hours a day for families staying here to come and go. Visiting hours are between 9 AM and 8 PM.

Are pets allowed?
Only service animals are allowed in the House and require advance approval.