Sanctuary Hospice House celebrates expansion

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Eight new rooms, complete with new furniture and beds, were debuted on Sunday at Sanctuary Hospice House.
The house, which provides care for the terminally ill during the last days of their lives, hosted an open house for the public. The new rooms saw a steady stream of folks taking a look.
“In the truest sense of the word, the community built it,” said Sanctuary administrator Linda Gholston. “They’re the ones who shop (at Santuary Village Shoppe) and donate.”
Gholston knew the hospice needed an addition when it had a waiting list of 354 patients in one year and just 16 beds at its location on Highway 6 west on Tupelo’s outskirts. The $1.2 million expansion and renovation was paid for by donors and through special events like the Project 354 auction and Celebration Village.
Thanks to the eight new rooms, the hospice can serve 200 to 250 more patients a year, Gholston said.
Each of the eight rooms features a bed, a flat-screen TV, a nightstand, a couch, wall art and a bathroom. Some have an extra chair or a mini refrigerator. It cost $25,000 for each room to be built and $10,000 for each to be furnished.
Hospice staff members were on hand to show off the new rooms.
“The community has been awesome,” said Heather Palmer, community relations director. “It was just a tremendous outpouring.”
Gholston expects the new rooms to be filled as soon as possible.
“They will be opening this week,” she said. “We will open them as soon as they are needed; in all probability, it will either be (Monday) or Tuesday.”
sheena.barnett@journalinc.com