The health, comfort and safety of every person entering Gift of Life Howie’s House is our top priority. The Howie’s House has outlined some of the most important House Rules that we ask all Howie’s House guests, volunteers and visitors to abide by. For a comprehensive list of rules, please contact us.
ALCOHOL, DRUGS AND INTOXICATION
Guests may not possess, use or consume alcohol or illegal drugs at the Howie’s House or on any Howie’s House property (including parking lots). Abuse of prescription drugs is prohibited. Anyone found in possession of drugs or alcohol or who appears intoxicated will be asked to leave the Howie’s House immediately.
CHECK-IN AND CHECK-OUT
If you have requested a room, the Howie’s House team will contact you between 11am and 12pm on the morning of your request to inform you of room availability. If high occupancy is expected, you may be contacted the night before.
During check-in, you should receive a copy of these rules, along with other information about your stay. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the front desk.
- New guests must check-in between 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm
- Returning guests must check-in between 1:00 pm and 9:00 pm
- New check-in procedure takes between 20-30 minutes and is mandatory
- Guests must confirm all personal information
- Guests must provide a first nights payment ($40.00 per night)
- All adults (18 and over) will be required to provide a photo ID
- Guests must review and sign in agreement with the House Rules
- All guests planning to stay must be present for initial review of House Rules
- A tour of the facilities will be provided
- Guests will be introduced to staff members
Please notify the front desk as soon as you know when you will be departing so that your room can be prepared for another family. We can store your luggage in a locked room near the front desk if you will not be leaving the area until later in the evening (but keep in mind, you will not be able to retrieve your luggage after 9pm). When you are ready to leave, please make sure you do the following:
- Check-out time is between 7:00 am and 11:00 am
- Guests must notify front desk of departure date or expected departure date
- Guests who need special check-out accommodations must speak with Manager on Duty
- Pack all of your belongings and perform a final sweep of the room to ensure you haven’t left anything behind
- Check to ensure you haven’t accidentally packed Howie’s House linens or supplies with your belongings
- Place your dirty towels in the green laundry bag that is provided for you
- Clean the refrigerator, if one was provided to you
- Clear any voicemail messages on your room phone
- Empty your storage locker on the first floor
- Visit the front desk to complete check-out and return any borrowed items
Children are the sole responsibility of their parent or guardian. Volunteers, staff, and other families are not permitted to supervise or babysit children of guests. Any damage or vandalism to the facility caused by a child will be the responsibility of their parent or guardian.
- Children under 16 – Must be accompanied at all times by a parent or guardian while on Howie’s House property.
- Children ages 16-17 – May use common areas of the Howie’s House, with the exception of the kitchen, without the presence of a parent or guardian; however a parent or guardian must remain on the premises.
- Children ages 18-20 – Permitted on the premises without supervision during the hours of 8am to 9pm. From 9pm to 8am, a parent or guardian must be present at the Howie’s House.
Please help us to ensure that you receive your phone calls, mail, and messages by letting us know if you plan to stay at the hospital for extended periods of time during your stay. There will be instructions on or near your guest room phone for setting up voicemail. Please do so as soon as you check in. A bulletin board located in the kitchen area will notify you of activities and news related to the Howie’s House. Mail and messages can be collected at the front desk.
COMPUTER AND INTERNET USAGE
There are computers in several areas of the first floor available for your use. Please limit your time to 20 minutes while others are waiting. Loaner laptops are also available and may be requested at the front desk. You may need to leave a photo ID with the front desk while borrowing the laptop.
The Howie’s House provides free wireless internet to guests. The password for the network will be located on your welcome packet. Upon logging on to the internet from your own computer, or any Howie’s House computer, you will be prompted to read and accept our technology use policy, and must do so before you can access the internet.
Violation of any Howie’s House rules or policies will result in appropriate action by management, up to and including removal from the Howie’s House and loss of consideration for future opportunities to stay at the House. In addition, the following types of behavior are considered inappropriate and may result in removal from the premises:
- Violence of any kind
- Physical punishment, including spanking, of children
- Excessive displays of affection in common areas
- Loud or disruptive conduct
- Any criminal activity
If you see a violation of Howie’s House rules or policies, or any of the above types of behavior, please report it immediately to the Manager on Duty.
Guests are expected to dress appropriately for a family environment. You must remain clothed at all times when outside of your guest room, including in the fitness center. Examples of inappropriate attire include: clothing that displays offensive symbols or language, pajamas, robes, exposed midriffs, sports bras (without shirt), bare feet, and bathing suits. The Howie’s House reserves the right to ask you to change your clothes at any time.
The fitness center is open from 7 am until 10 pm. A list of rules is posted inside the fitness center that must be followed at all times. Children under 16 are not permitted in the fitness center and children ages 16 and 17 must be accompanied by an adult while using the fitness center. Cell phone use is not permitted inside the fitness center.
FOOD AND BEVERAGES
Consumption of food and beverages is not permitted outside of the kitchen and dining rooms. Preparation and consumption of food and beverages is permitted in the kitchen and dining areas only, with the exception that water is permitted in the fitness center. Guests may store dry, unopened foods in their assigned lockers on the first floor. Guests are welcome to food that is in the kitchen and dining room, but is only to be consumed during guest stays, not to be taken home.
Guests age 16 and over are permitted to use the kitchen and are expected to clean the kitchen area immediately after use. This includes cleaning counters, tables, stovetops, ovens, sinks, floors, dishes, utensils, and appliances. Before unloading dishwashers, hand washing procedures should be observed. The dining room and kitchen are closed nightly from 9 pm-10 pm for housekeeping.
At check-out, guests should take their food home with them, dispose of it, or, if unopened, donate it to the Howie’s House for general use.
Medicine and breast milk cannot be stored in the kitchen. Guests who need to refrigerate either should contact the front desk to make alternative arrangements such as use of a loaner fridge in their guest bedroom.
GAMES AND ENTERTAINMENT
The Howie’s House can provide video games, board and card games, DVDs, and books for guests to borrow during their stay. All non-video games, DVDs, and books must be requested and signed out at the front desk between 7 am and 9 pm. Video games may only be signed out to someone over age 18 and they must leave their photo identification with front desk staff.
You are responsible for keeping your guest room clean. Maximum room occupancy is determined at the discretion of management and is generally limited to two people per queen bed (with two beds per room.) Nothing should be taken out of the room, including blankets and towels. Please ensure that you haven’t accidentally packed Howie’s House supplies with your belongings when you leave.
While every effort will be made to ensure the comfort and privacy of guests, management reserves the right to enter guest rooms at any time and without prior notice. If your room has been entered in your absence, a note indicating this will be left outside your door. If you have a maintenance issue such as a clogged drain or burned-out light bulb, please notify the front desk so that it can be addressed.
GUEST STAY REVIEWS
Eligibility to stay at the Howie’s House is dictated by the medical needs of the patient requiring evaluation and/or treatment at Philadelphia-area medical facilities, as well as the occupancy levels of the Howie’s House. As long as a medical need exists which is substantiated by the medical facility providing evaluation or treatment, you may be permitted to stay at the Howie’s House. Approval of prolonged stays is also based on frequency of appointment schedules. Guests with 3 or more appointments in any week may be eligible to stay until the day after their last appointment.
Howie’s House management reserves the right conduct eligibility reviews of all guests at any time, and to assess levels of need and make recommendations for alternative housing. Families not meeting eligibility requirements will be asked to leave the Howie’s House within 24 hours.
The maximum stay for any guest meeting eligibility requirements is nine months. After nine months of consecutive stay at the Howie’s House, guests will be assisted in finding alternative living arrangements.
If you have to leave the Howie’s House for more than 24 hours, you are required to check out, regardless of whether you are certain that you will need to return. Please make alternative arrangements, as room availability will not be guaranteed upon your return.
If you check out of the Howie’s House but fail to notify staff, you will be required to pay the $40 nightly fee for the period that the room is unoccupied due to your failure to check out.
The Howie’s House will provide you with up to two key cards, to be used only be guests ages 18 and up. In the event you key card is lost, you must immediately notify the front desk so that the missing card can be deactivated and a replacement can be issued. Key cards are not to be given to anyone other than the person to whom it was issued.
Guests are responsible for doing their own laundry during their stay. The laundry facilities are located on the lower level opposite the rear elevator, and are open 24 hours a day. Detergent is provided, loads cost .75 cents each.
MEDICINE, NEEDLES, AND STORAGE
Howie’s House employees and volunteers are not permitted to provide, dispense, or administer medication. Medication must be stored in guest rooms. If your medication requires refrigeration, please make arrangements with management prior to arrival so that a portable refrigerator, if available, may be placed in your room. You will be responsible for cleaning the refrigerator prior to check-out.
Needles should be kept in your room at all times, in a container designed for sharps storage. Never dispose of needles at the Howie’s House. They must be taken with you when you leave.
NURSING, BREAST MILK STORAGE
If you are nursing, please contact the Howie’s House in advance of your stay so that a portable refrigerator, if available, may be placed in your room for breast milk storage. Breast milk cannot be stored in community refrigerators. You will be responsible for cleaning the refrigerator prior to check-out. Nursing should be done inside of your guest room.
Guests are permitted to park one vehicle in the Howie’s House lot free of charge. You must display the placard provided to you on the dashboard of your vehicle at all times. Any cars not bearing the proper identification will be towed at the owner’s expense.
Although the Howie’s House lot is fenced, you should keep your car locked at all times. The Howie’s House is not responsible for damage to or theft of cars in the lot.
Pets are not permitted at the Howie’s House. Pets also cannot be left in vehicles in the Howie’s House parking lot.
Guest may come into contact with sensitive or private information during the course of their stay. Guests must respect the privacy of others at the Howie’s House at all times and should not discuss any such information outside of the Howie’s House.
QUIET HOURS, LIGHTS OUT
Quiet hours are between 9 pm and 9 am. Quiet hours apply to all areas of the Howie’s House including the patio and parking lot. At 10pm, the manager-on-duty will shut the lights off in the common areas of the Howie’s House. Only the dining room will be open for use after 10 pm.
The Howie’s House asks that you pay a fee of $40 per night, per room. If you are unable to pay this fee, you should speak with the Day Manager or Social Worker so that other arrangements can be made. If you are eligible to have a third party pay your fees, you should do so, and the Howie’s House will send billing statements directly to the third party for you.
The Howie’s House will collect the first night’s fee at check-in. Subsequent payments should be made weekly, or more often if you prefer. A final payment will be made during check-out. Management will review financial statements of guests at least every 7 days to ensure that accounts are up-to-date. Payment can be made by cash or credit card (checks will only be accepted at the discretion of management).
SAFETY & SECURITY
For the safety of you and your fellow guests, doors are never to be propped open or opened for anyone not in your party. Entrance to the Howie’s House is limited to the front door only. Please do not be offended if we ask for your name or to see your wristband prior to buzzing you into the building. In the event of an emergency, please call 911 immediately.
There is no smoking or tobacco use permitted at the Howie’s House or on Howie’s House property, other than in our designated smoking area in the northwest corner of our parking lot. If you wish to smoke or use tobacco, you must do so only in the designated area, and must dispose of any waste (e.g. cigarette butts) in the proper receptacle in the smoking area.
The Howie’s House will provide limited van service, when available, following a regular schedule of pick-ups and drop-offs at transplant centers in the Philadelphia-area, and the Howie’s House itself. Schedules will be available at the front desk, and in the directory provided in each guest room.
Visiting hours are from 9am to 9pm. Your visitors must check in at the front desk and tell staff who they are visiting. They will be required to complete the infectious disease questionnaire and wear a wristband indicating that they are a visitor. You must greet your visitors at the front desk before they will be allowed into the common area of the Howie’s House. If your visitor wishes to stay overnight, they must check in as a guest and comply with room occupancy limits.
You will be given a wristband when you check in at the Howie’s House that must be worn for the duration of your stay. If your wristband comes off, or becomes loose, bring it to the front desk so that it can be replaced.