At the House Frequently Asked Questions

Who can stay at the Ronald McDonald House?
Any family whose child is 21 years of age or younger and is receiving active inpatient or outpatient treatment at any Cleveland area medical center is welcome to stay at our House. Limited exceptions may be made by a House manager. In addition to parents and patients, we also welcome siblings, grandparents, relatives, and friends – anyone whom the patient needs around them to help in the healing process. All patients (regardless of age) staying at the House must be accompanied by another adult, guardian or caregiver over the age of 18.  Effective May 1, 2016, all adults (18 years or older) are required to pass a criminal background check before being allowed to stay at RMH. For more details, read our family ELIGIBILITY POLICY

How do I reserve a room?
Our 55 rooms are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Rooms may be requested up to 7 days prior to arrival. Families may request a room for the day prior to a patient's first appointment or hospital admission. First time guests must arrive by 8 pm. A background check is required for ALL guests, including the patient, who are 18 years of age or older. 

How do international guests reserve a room?
International guests must coordinate their stay through the hospital's International Center or Global Patient Services office. Passports and Visa are used to determine eligibility to stay.

What do I need to bring when I check in?
You will need a photo I.D. (driver's license or passport) to check in.

What if a room is not available?
Because we never know how long a family will be staying, we cannot take advance reservations. We take names on a first-called, first-served basis. If you meet the eligibility requirements, including background checks, you will be assigned to a room, or your name will be added to the wait list if no room is available, the day before your arrival. Often, we have many families check out the next morning, and a room will become available before you arrive. If it looks as though a room will not be available for the first night, we can assist you in finding ALTERNATIVE HOUSING nearby. You will stay on the wait list until a room becomes available, at which time we will call you.

How much does it cost to stay at RMH?
The Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland requests a donation of $20 per night per family to help offset the actual cost of $80 per night. If this presents a hardship for the family, it may be reduced or deferred. No family has ever been, or will ever be, turned away due to inability to pay. 

What are the hours of the Ronald McDonald House?
The House is accessible to families 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The front desk is staffed by volunteers from 9 am-9 pm Eastern, 7 days a week. A staff member is on duty 24 hours a day in case of emergency. 

How big is the Ronald McDonald House?
The Ronald McDonald House can accommodate up to 55 families each night in private suites. An elevator and main staircase provide easy access to the second floor where most of the guest rooms are located. An additional elevator provides access to the third floor guestrooms. The House also includes a fully operational kitchen, laundry facilities, recreation room, resource center with computer access (and wireless internet access throughout the House), secured parking, and 2.5 acres of gardens and green space. 

What will I find in the guest room?
All guest rooms have private bathrooms. Most are furnished with two double beds, but some have different configurations. Linens are provided, but guests are responsible for their own laundry and cleaning their own room. Folding beds and cribs are available on a limited basis. Some handicapped-accessible rooms are available.   

Are meals provided?
Nearly every night of the year a volunteer group provides dinner for the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House. Occasionally, volunteers will also provide lunch or breakfast. Families are also welcome to prepare their own meals in the kitchen. Donated foods (cereal, soup, pastries, pasta, etc.) are available for families to use.

What are the house rules?
Families living in the community and sharing the Ronald McDonald House are asked to follow these HOUSE RULES

How do I get to get to the hospital where my child is staying?
Please see a list of area hospitals for locations and directions. Families whose children are receiving treatment at the Cleveland Clinic’s Main Campus or at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s have free, daily shuttle access to either hospital from RMH. 

How long do families stay at the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland?
Families stay as little as one night (for a follow-up appointment or testing) or sometimes months. Families are asked to check out by 3 pm on the day following their last appointment or discharge. Please see our ELIGIBILITY POLICY for more information. 

Who can use the Ronald McDonald Family Room?
Families whose children are being treated at that hospital may use the Ronald McDonald Family Room (currently at Cleveland Clinic Children’s, Fairview Hospital, MetroHealth Medical Center, and UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital). Click here for more information about the locations and amenities our Family Rooms have to offer. 

How much does it cost to use the Ronald McDonald Family Room?
Thanks to the generosity of our volunteers and donors, the services of a Ronald McDonald Family Room are provided at no cost or low cost. We charge $.50 for bottled water and other beverages for the families using the facilities.

What is the relationship between McDonald's and Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland? 
While the McDonald's corporation is a partner in care, Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland is neither owned nor fully funded by McDonald's. Learn more about our relationship with McDonald’s

How is Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland funded?
Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland is solely operated with funds raised through donations made by individuals, organizations, and corporations in the communities we serve. The House is not owned or operated by McDonald’s or any medical institution in Northeast Ohio. 

How can I support the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland?
By donating and volunteering. We could not operate without generous donations from our community. Our volunteers are the heart and soul of the organization, and the reason we accomplish so much with such a small staff.