CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The coronavirus pandemic has caused many organizations to pivot their business model, but one nonprofit in Charlottesville has been able to continue to provide housing for immunocompromised children and their families during their time at UVA Children’s Hospital.
For nearly three years, the Yellow Door Foundation (YDF)has been providing free long-term housing for immunocompromised patients and their families who are fighting cancer or undergoing an organ transplant at the hospital.
“Yellow Door has not slowed down. Obviously there have been a lot of families that have stayed with Yellow Door since COVID has started, and right now there are three families in the apartments,” YDF Board Member Sephida Artis-Mills said.
Artis-Mills was introduced to the nonprofit after her daughter had to undergo a heart transplant on September 25, 2018. Her family needed a safe place to stay before her daughter went in for surgery.
“After her surgery, we needed somewhere where we didn’t have to be concerned about her being exposed to many people. We were able to keep things pretty close,” Artis-Mills said.
Before the pandemic, YDF had been ahead of the curve by taking extra steps to ensure these children seeking treatment remain healthy. The five apartments it uses for families have antibacterial paint, engineered hardwood flooring, and air purifiers to keep everyone healthy during the duration of their stay.
“There’s just certain elements of the apartment that make it the best place for a child that is immunocompromised,” Artis-Mills said.