HOW THE VISION BECAME A REALITY – 2014
In the Fall of 2014, the “social model” hospice home was discovered by a Kaweah Delta Hospice Foundation board member. Five members of that board visited Our Community House of Hope in Thousand Oaks and returned inspired and committed to having a home for end-of-life care in Visalia!
This home could not be an exclusive Kaweah Delta Hospice entity because as a “social model’ it must have contracts with all the hospice organizations in Kings and Tulare counties, thus broadening the reach to those in need of a home in which to experience peace and comfort at the end of their life.
THE PATH IS REVEALED – 2015
2015, Community networking began, a board was formed, and a name was chosen “Open Arms”. “Arms” is used synonymously with the word “inn” and many times these places to stay had a family coat of arms over the door. The phrase “open arms” also “suggests accepting of all.” A couple of the board members attended the 3rd annual Omega Home Network conference in Tulsa, OK, connecting Open Arms with the resources to make this journey a reality!
QUICK PROGRESS IS MADE – 2016
January: The Open Arms House received its non-profit status in record time! The perfect 3-bedroom home was found and purchased in May. The Kaweah Delta Hospice Foundation gave The Open Arms House the support it needed by loaning $259,000 for the purchase plus an additional $41,000 for upgrades. Generous donors and committed volunteers enabled the construction, adding 3 bedrooms and converting the 3-car garage to office space beginning in December.
INTRODUCING THE RUTH WOOD OPEN ARMS HOUSE – 2017
License Application was filed with the State of California in March. Construction was completed by the end of April and tireless volunteers worked on interior details, plus generous donations were received including appliances, office equipment, furniture and art. Executive Director Cynthia Swift was hired in June as we introduced our beautiful home with an open house event. Landscaping completed in the heat of July survived miraculously! October was a notable month!!! The home was officially dedicated to Ruth Wood, State inspection was completed and the Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE) license for six residents on Hospice care was received on September 20, 2017! Only the 4th home of its kind in the State of California!