Shodair Children’s Hospital is one step closer to building housing for families to stay in while their children are in treatment.

Jack Casey, hospital administrator, announced the receipt of a $225,000 grant from the Murdock Charitable Trust to help fund the Shodair Family House.

Families from across the state travel to Shodair, the only facility for children’s acute and residential psychiatric care in Montana. Many of these families are having a hard time financially without the added costs of hotels during their children’s stay at Shodair.

Casey said the hospital often assists families with housing and paid about $45,000 in recent bills.

“With the Shodair Family House, we can triple or quadruple the numbers of people we can help with the same amount,” he said.

The funds will be added to a $500,000 grant from the Montana Mental Health Settlement Trust, which was given with the provision that the hospital must raise additional matching funds.

To date, a total of $1,117,005 has been raised, leaving an additional $159,195 needed to complete the project.

The housing, which will have enough room for six to eight families at a time, will allow loved ones to be part of the therapeutic process in addition to being near their children. Casey said it is of utmost importance that families know how to interact with their loved ones who are being treated.

“Many families we serve are in financial need. Thanks to the Murdock Charitable Trust, we’ll be able to provide them with a place to stay when they visit their children and participate in family therapy, which is vital to the recovery of our patients. Shodair Family House will help provide the means to ensure long-term success and independence for our patients and their families,” Casey said.

The plan for the new building includes offices and a place for outpatient therapy. Officials are hoping to start construction in June.

Shodair is a nonprofit, nondenominational facility and the state’s only Children’s Miracle Network hospital.

Reporter Angela Brandt: 447-4078 or angela.brandt@helenair.com or Twitter.com/IR_AngelaBrandt

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