Written by John Deem
Little did Pletcher know that another Serenity House already was on the way — in Morristown, Tenn. The soon-to-open end-of-life facility does nothing to meet Pletcher’s goal of opening a Serenity House in northern Mecklenburg County, but when she heard about the Tennessee project, it intrigued her nonetheless.
Meanwhile, in Morristown, organizers had already decided on the name Serenity House, not knowing that there was another end-of-life facility by the same name. That center’s founder and executive director, Stephanie Hammill, was looking for ideas for a logo, so she typed “Serenity House” into Google and hit Search.
The first item to pop up on her screen? Serenity House in Mooresville.
“It was like mana from heaven,” Hammill says.
That’s because Hammill and others working to create the Morristown facility were modeling it after a center in Batavia, N.Y., which was more than 700 miles away.
“Suddenly, we find one that’s just a four-hour drive from us,” Hammill says. “And it’s named Serenity House!”
The two Serenity Houses would soon become sister centers, which is why Hammill and about one-half dozen of her volunteers traveled to Mooresville last week to see the other Serenity House in action.
More than a dream
Like its Mooresville counterpart, the Morristown Serenity House will provide a place for up to two “residents” at a time to spend their last days in a place that offers around-the-clock comfort and support, all provided by volunteers. What’s different about the two facilities is the houses themselves.
Mooresville’s Serenity House, which has been home to nearly 140 residents in their final days and weeks in its five years of operation, is a house on the campus of Centre Presbyterian Church, which leases the building to Serenity House for $1 per year.
Hammill went a different route in Morristown, where that community’s Serenity House will be a home owned by the Morristown Housing Authority. Having an actual building has been crucial in Hammill’s efforts to raise funds to operate Serenity House, she says, especially since the concept of a free, all-volunteer facility unique.
“People just don’t want to give to a dream,” Hammill says.
It’s the same kind of reaction Pletcher says she’s gotten as she looks for a home for a northern Mecklenburg Serenity House. She’s targeting Davidson and Cornelius, but is willing to look farther south if that’s what it takes.
Wherever the newest Serenity House ends up, it will be a good thing for the area.
“I think it adds to the quality of life of the community.”
And, ultimately, the end of life to Serenity House’s residents.
House hunting in north Mecklenburg
Serenity House of Mooresville continues to look for a home in Davidson, Cornelius or Huntersville that could serve as a second Lake Norman-area end-of-life care facility.
“Our hope is to come up with an arrangement like what we have here,” says Serenity House Executive Director Cheryl Pletcher.
That arrangement allows Serenity House to lease a home on the campus of Centre Presbyterian Church for $1 a year. Anyone interested in helping n the effort may contact Serenity House at 704-664-2004.
original article: http://www.lakenormancitizen.com