The Rome Home which once housed as many as nineteen elderly citizens, had to shut down due to financial strains. Mary Finocchiaro was on the Board of Managers and hated to see it go.
"Even now it’s, it’s emotional. Yeah, but we still drive by," Finocchiaro said.
Those emotions are about to change for the better since the Rome Home will soon become The Abraham House Rome. They’ll be providing a home for six end of life patients and temporary room for their families. Finding housing for the terminally ill is a growing problem in many communities. Patricia King works at Rome Memorial Hospital and knows the services needed.
"The need in Rome is dramatic," King said. "We currently have very limited capabilities in terms of referring our patients. The facilities are always full."
The Abraham House will be looking to fill that need, but they first need to renovate the building. Rome Mayor Jacqueline Izzo stepped in with some additional funding from the city to help speed things up.
"One of the things that I wanted to do was to identify service gaps that were in our community, and this was a large gap," Izzo said. "We were missing this in our healthcare model."
Having a family member with a terminal illness is heartbreaking, but it’s even more difficult when you have no one to care for them, or nowhere for them to go. Gina Ciaccia is the executive director of the Abraham House and talked about what it's like to have to turn people away.
"The most difficult part of my job is to have somebody call you when there’s not a lot of options left, and ask, 'Do you have availability?' And I have to say, 'No, I’m sorry. We’re full.' You know, 'I can put you on our waiting list,' and there are people that are just … we can’t get to and we can’t serve."
The Abraham House is hoping to keep renovations to a minimum, but the current projections are going to require around one hundred thousand dollars. That may be difficult since the Abraham House runs solely on donations. The Abraham House Rome is hoping to open their doors to the public in the spring, and anyone wishing to make a donation can now do so online.