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New housing supports young adults battling cancer

Ulman House opens in East Baltimore
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Posted at 10:51 PM, Jan 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-22 23:30:43-05

BALTIMORE (WMAR) — A block of vacant rowhomes in East Baltimore has been transformed into a safe space for people fighting for their lives.

"This is their home away from home while they are going through treatment," Ulman House Wellness Coordinator Sophia Garber said.

The Ulman House opened last week to help young adults battling cancer.

"Housing during treatment is such a huge cost to pay for a hotel or somewhere to stay," Garber said.

So now they have a safe place to stay for free in Baltimore.

"We've just got a lot of really incredible facilities so people do travel from all over the world, all over the country to get treatment here," Garber said.

The Ulman Foundation started the mission years ago to create this one-of-a-kind space.

"We are the only house in Baltimore and we're pretty sure the county that caters to young adult patients," Garber said.

Each patient gets a suite with bed, pull out couch for loved ones or caregivers, a closet and bathroom. There's a shared kitchen, living room and dining room, music therapy room, gym and space for counseling.

"It's really important to us that we are supporting the whole patient, not just giving them a place to stay but making sure they are doing alright mentally," Garber said.

Artwork created by one of the foundation's founders, Diana Ulman, lines the walls.

"She founded the organization with her son who was diagnosed when he was in college and he’s doing well now. He’s a 3 time cancer survivor I think, but they built this organization to really fill the gaps and be there for young adults when they felt like they didn’t have the resources when they were going through the journey," Garber said.

Garber's favorite place in the house is the 'Why We Fight' wall.

"It's our daily reminder of why we are doing what we are doing. These are all the names of people who have been impacted by cancer," Garber said.

It was all made possible with a lot of donations, not just money, but furniture and housekeeping needs.

"Really the house is filled by the people who are in our community which is really special," Garber said.

Garber hopes it becomes more than a house, but a community.

"Not only will it financially ease a lot of tension for our young adult patients, but having people who are going through what you're going through is invaluable," Garber said.

One patient has already moved in and they have 7 more suites available for young adults age 15-39. To refer a patient, click here or email Garber at sgarber@ulmanfoundation.org.

Garber says they are also looking for people to sign up to cook dinner during the week and help with housekeeping. For all volunteer opportunities, click here.