For years I have sat through meetings where we try to figure out where someone can go to die. If you don’t have family or money or medicaid you are pretty much out of luck in Austin TX. My hospice has served people dying in tents on the green belts, or underneath bridges. Most tragically we have served people dying in hospitals that just want a home.
What if there was a home that was willing to take in the dying? A community whose sacred task was to care deeply for those facing the final days of their life. A home that people felt safe and cared for. A home that didn’t cost anything. That was open to everybody. A home that was part of the Austin community.
Welcome to Endwell.
A few weeks ago Endwell traveled to Tulsa Oklahoma to attend the Omega Home Network Conference. Dozens of omega homes (homes for the dying) were in attendance. We met people from all over the country; some who are just starting out like us and others who have been in the thick of it for decades. It was a great boost to moral to see homes all over the united states working the model: a free home for the dying. We came back energized and ready to make Endwell a reality. We have a plan of attach, now to get in the trenches.
Endwell took a road trip today to San Antonio to meet with the executive director of Abode; Martha Jo Atkins. We got to tour their amazing home and see the great work they do.
We came back energized for Austin’s new home for the dying. Martha Jo was very encouraging telling us, ‘there is no reason why Austin can’t have a home.’ Indeed! It’s encouraging that we don’t have to create the model. There are homes for the dying all over the United States and they are happy to share how they are thriving. Homes that care for people in the last months of life at no cost to the resident. Communities that provide a safe and caring home. The model is out there and its working. We just need to implement it. We just need people who are passionate about end of life care and want to help us.
A big thank you to Martha Jo and the Abode community! Check out their website here; http://www.abodehome.org
Endwell is just starting to get off the ground. It can be overwhelming to think about the amount of work that is a head of us; building a community. Real estate in Austin is not cheap and we need to raise enough money to buy and remodel a home for the dying. We also have to attract and train volunteers to provide compassionate care day in and day out. This community won’t be built over night.
Lucky for us there are homes for the dying all over the Unites States that are willing to share what they’ve learned. They say it typically takes 5-7 years to open a home like Endwell.
That means we need volunteers with the long game in mind. As we begin this journey we will be laying the foundations for a community in Austin that will transform how we die.
If you are passionate about helping those at the end of their lives die well then please reach out to us. We need help building this community and would love to have you as a part of it.