Stay at the Ronald McDonald House – Portland, Maine

In times of stress, you need good food, a community of people who understand what you are going through, a comfortable place to rest your head, and the closeness of your family. That’s what you get at the Ronald McDonald House.

Staying with us offers:

Clean, comfortable spaces for daily living

Quiet, peaceful places to rest and recharge

A warm dinner, ready for you every night

Convenient access to nearby hospitals, including Maine Medical Center

A community of families and friends you can relate to

This is the House where families meet to continue their lives, to eat and sleep, to find their strength and dry their tears, to look forward with hope to better years. This is the House that becomes their home. This is the House that love built.

When can I check in?

  • Check-in hours: 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week
    • Please allow up to 30 minutes for check in process for first-time visitors
    • After initial check in you are free to come and go as you need – no curfew
  • Rooms must be used every night to retain your stay
  • Room capacity- 4 persons per bedroom is the maximum

Who is eligible to stay?

We serve families of patients ages 21 years or younger who are receiving treatment at nearby hospitals at a distance from their home. When the Ronald McDonald House is at full capacity, we began a waitlist as we work on a first come, first serve basis.

How much does it cost?

Families are welcomed to the Ronald McDonald House at absolutely no charge. We understand how costly a serious illness can be. Besides medical costs, a family’s income often declines when a child is hospitalized as parents take extended leave from work to care for their child. Though no payment is ever expected, if a family wishes to contribute towards their stay after check out, we suggest a nominal donation of $10 per night.

On average, it costs $80 per night to accommodate one guest family at the Ronald McDonald House – Portland, Maine. We rely on the generosity of our donors to provide services at no charge to families. Click here to donate now.

How long can I stay?

Families are able to stay with us for as long as their child is receiving care and the family is actively participating in their care plan. Your stay may be extended based on several factors including your child’s treatment plan, input from your child’s hospital case worker or social worker, and the needs of other families on the waiting list.

Are meals provided?

  • Thanks to generous community volunteers and meal partners, a hot meal is provided for guests of the Portland House each night. If you are not available at that time, food in the shared refrigerator can be reheated at your convenience.
  • In addition to prepared meals, our guest families enjoy full use of the well-equipped kitchen and are welcome to any food, beverages or cooking supplies stored in the cupboards or shared refrigerator.
  • If you have special dietary requirements or food preferences, you may purchase food, label it with your name and the date and store it in the family refrigerator or section of the pantry allocated for your room. Upon departure, we ask that you please discard any food items that cannot be used by others.
    • Affix a red label with last name, date, and room number before storing food. Anything with a green label is for public use.
  • NOTE: Food and beverages are to be consumed in the kitchen and dining room areas only. Please do not take food or beverages into guest bedrooms or other common areas.

How do I request a room?

  • Families are frequently referred to the Ronald McDonald House by hospital nurses or social workers. Your child’s hospital care team can help you determine if staying at the Ronald McDonald House is a good fit for your family, and if so, they can make a referral on your behalf.
  • We do not accept self-referrals.
  • A volunteer or staff member will let you know whether a room is available. If no rooms are open at the time of your call, you will be placed on a waiting list. We will make every effort to suggest nearby lodging alternatives until a room at the Ronald McDonald House becomes available.

What should I bring?

  • When checking in to the Ronald McDonald House, please bring clothing for each member of your family, personal medications, money for incidentals, a valid photo ID and any necessary child safety equipment (such as a car seat).
  • While we have plenty of toys and activities for children, if your child has a favorite toy or comfort item at home, we encourage you to bring it along.
  • However, we ask that you don’t bring any bedding or towels as these will be provided. Toiletries can also be provided.
  • NOTE: Drugs, alcohol, and weapons of any kind are STRICTLY prohibited.

How can I get to the hospital?

  • Maine Medical Center is located within walking distance of the Portland Ronald McDonald House (less than 0.4 miles).
  • Complimentary shuttle service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. See a staff or volunteer for more information or call (207)780-6282.

Limited transportation may be available to help families get to and from medical appointments outside the hospital. Please work with our staff, allowing as much advance notice as possible, if you find yourself in need.

Is parking available?

  • Street Parking is limited on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Daytime parking is often limited to 1-2 hours. Please read all signs carefully to avoid being towed at your expense.
  • Lot Parking is available, but first come first serve, in the West Street lot off Carleton St. All cars must be parked with a parking pass displayed on the driver’s side dashboard. If snow is in the forecast cars must be moved or they will be towed at your expense.

Click here for photos and descriptions of guest rooms, commons areas, and house amenities

  • The Portland Ronald McDonald House is a community living environment. We appreciate your cooperation in helping us maintain a harmonious, home-like
    atmosphere that is safe, secure, clean, and conducive to rest and rejuvenation.
  • To that end, we respectfully ask you to observe the following rules and guidelines:
    • Quiet Hours: To allow our families to rest and recharge, we ask that you maintain quiet hours from 10 PM to 8 AM daily.
    • Child Supervision: It is your responsibility to supervise your children at all times while staying at the House — for their safety and that of our other guests.
      House staff, volunteers, and other families are not available to serve as
    • Tobacco, Alcohol, Drugs, and Weapons: We do not allow the use of tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, or illicit drugs anywhere on the grounds of the Ronald McDonald House. Likewise, firearms and weapons of any kind are prohibited. Please consult a staff member if you have questions about this policy.
    • Food and Drink: All food and beverages MUST be consumed in the kitchen or dining room. Please do not eat or store food in your room or other common areas.
    • General Housekeeping: Though our volunteers do an amazing job at maintaining shared spaces they do not work around the clock. We provide
      cleaning supplies so that you can help us maintain a clean and comfortable
      environment for your family and other guests at the House. We ask that you please:

      • Keep your room tidy and launder clothes and linens when needed.
      • Help your child clean up and put away toys, crafts, or other materials
        once they’re finished playing.
      • Clean up after yourself each time you use the kitchen. All dishes,
        utensils and glassware should be placed in the dishwasher after use.
        Only pots and pans may be washed by hand.
      • Keep counter-tops clean and empty the trash and recycling bins when
        they are full.
      • When leaving the House, turn off the lights in your room to help us
        reduce energy costs.
      • Personal items are not to be left in shared bathrooms.
    • Prescription medications should not be kept in the shared refrigerator. See front desk.
    • Shoes or socks must be worn at all times in common areas.
    • Smoking is not allowed anywhere in the House or on the property.
    • Elevator Use: Our House is equipped with an elevator to accommodate
      handicapped guests. Please do not allow children to play on or use the elevator without adult supervision.
    • Checking Out: Prior to checkout, we ask that you help prepare your room for the next family.
      • Strip the all the bedding and place all linens, including towels, in the
        laundry basket provided in your room. Leave this basket of linens in
        your room for the staff and volunteer to clean.
      • Please sweep or vacuum, take your trash to the dumpster, and wipe
        down all surface.
      • Make sure to notify staff of your expected departure date.
  • Families are eligible to stay if they meet these criteria:
    • The patient must be 21 years of age or younger.
    • A pregnant woman with a high-risk pregnancy.
    • Minor parents (under age 18) who are unmarried and not legally emancipated must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
    • Families are not contagious with any illness.
    • Rooms at RMHC can only be occupied by immediate family members and those directly involved in the patient’s care (Up to four people per room).
    • Family members are able to function in a community living environment and follow rules.
    • A $10 per night donation is encouraged, however, no family is ever turned away for inability to contribute towards their stay.
  • Families are not eligible to stay if there is:
    • Evidence of ongoing substance abuse or other behavior that would compromise the safety of others at the Ronald McDonald House. Individuals receiving medicated assisted medical care (i.e. methadone or buprenorphine) as part of a treatment program and meet all other criteria are eligible to stay.
    • Involvement in a DHHS/CPS open assessment or case including physical abuse, neglect, emotional maltreatment, or sexual abuse that may compromise the safety of others at Ronald McDonald House. Consideration of eligibility may be given to families based on current circumstances.
    • Current conviction or involvement in a domestic violence relationship that will compromise the safety of others at the Ronald McDonald House.
    • Criminal justice system involvement (i.e. probation, parole, or an active Protection from Abuse Order). Consideration of eligibility regarding probation or parole may be given to families based on current circumstances.
  • Please wash your hands immediately and every time upon entry or re-entry of the House.
  • If at any point in time during your stay you begin to have symptoms or don’t feel well, stay in your room. Call the front desk (207-780-6282) and we’ll make a plan together!
  • A little extra General Housekeeping to keep everyone safe:
    • Wear gloves while preparing food in the kitchen
    • Disinfect all counters after you have cooked in the kitchen
    • Disinfect dining table when done
    • Spray down common areas after you use them
    • Only 1 family in a common area at a time