Families with critically ill children often face an enormous dilemma: stay and support their hospitalized family members or go to work to help defer expensive medical bills. Some families don’t have a choice, especially when paid vacation and sick time are exhausted. Often parents are forced to take unpaid leave to remain with their family members — a proposition many families simply can’t afford.
Spare Key’s program is unique. They provide mortgage assistance to families who have family members with serious illnesses or critical injuries requiring hospitalization. Many of the families Spare Key serves are considered working or middle class families. Additionally, Spare Key does not distinguish between types of illness or injury. However, all children must have spent at least 14 of the last 90 days in a hospital, and families must demonstrate increase in medical expenses and/or decrease in income to be eligible for funding.
Spare Key, an RMSFF grantee since 2004, has just concluded its 20th year and provided housing grants for more than 3,000 families, surpassing $3 million in total grant assistance. Current fundraising efforts allow Spare Key to serve 73 percent of applicants that apply. The Spring 2018 matching grant received from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation will go a long way to addressing those in need.