A warm welcome

Bobbi’s House Executive Director Rhonda Dilts stands in front of the recently renovated hospital hospitality house and its new awning on Center Street on Oct. 6.

There is a reason why the new front door of Bobbi’s House on 411 E. Center Street is red these days. It’s the internationally recognized color that signifies “Welcome,” Bobbi’s House Executive Director Rhonda Dilts explained. It’s also why many church doors are red, with the color also being associated with sanctuary, refuge and safety.

Bobbi’s House, right nextdoor to the Christ Episcopal Church, wants to be that sanctuary. Since 2007, it has welcomed families of patients who are in the hospital or the Douglas Care Center. It aims to provide an affordable home-like environment where guests can feel like they are part of a family, spending time with others who may be far from home.

And now, with a number of renovations recently completed on the four-room 113-year-old house, Dilts is hoping more people will come and stay, to find peace and a little bit of comfort inside its walls while their loved ones receive medical care.

The house was closed from March through June of this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and not many people have stayed in the house since it has reopened.

Dilts hopes the architectural changes might help generate renewed interest.

The renovations to the exterior of the building certainly make it feel more inviting. In addition to the new screen door, an awning now hangs over the front door with

“Bobbi’s House” in homespun red cursive font, the exterior was stuccoed with a new mint green paint job and creme window sidings, the back deck was redone, and the foundation of the house was strengthened after it sustained some water damage.

It’s the first major renovation the house has received since it was opened as a hospitality house by members of the church in 2007, named in honor of church member Bobbi Werner, who died of cancer in 2002.

The changes were funded by a $50,000 grant from the Foundation for the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming, a $2,500 grant from the Douglas Enterprise’s Facade program, and from private donations.

Bobbi’s House has four private sleeping rooms including one handicapped accessible room, a kitchen, living room, dining room and other amenities.

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