Staying Here FAQs

Answers to popular questions about our House

If you would like to make the check-in process a little bit faster, please read the House Policies before check-in. This will ensure you are familiar with our House, and you can have your questions ready for the team member who checks you in. When we call to confirm your room, we will schedule your check-in time.

All guests 18 and older are required to have a photo ID with them at check-in. When your family arrives at the House, they will be required to complete the check-in process with a team member. During this check-in process, the family will receive a brief introduction, a review of House policies and procedures and will take a quick tour of the House. A Ronald McDonald House team member will also show your family to their private guestroom. After this orientation, you will be able to return to the hospital, relax in your room, enjoy a meal with your family and other guests in the dining room or spend time in any of the common areas within our House.

Please bring the following with you for check in:

  • Your photo ID
  • Car seat if you plan on using our transportation (Under Maryland’s Child Passenger Safety Law, a child who is zero to seven years old and is shorter than 4’9” must be secured in a child safety seat)
  • Wheelchair, stroller, breast pump, or shower chair if you need them
Parents or legal guardians of any eligible child may temporarily reside at Ronald McDonald House. Parents are welcome to bring siblings but note that childcare is not provided and that an adult (someone 21 years of age or older) must always be able to supervise their children. Anyone outside the immediate family, such as an aunt, uncle, or grandparent, must be helping to serve as support for the family and must be approved by your social worker/case worker and RMHC management. We can provide only one room per family. In compliance with Fire Code Regulations, we do have a maximum capacity for each room. The maximum number of people per room is dependent on the size of the room. Rooms range in occupancy size from 4-6 people.

The number of family members per room depends on the room size:

  • Standard room – 4
  • Large room — 6
Because so many families are in need of our services, we limit the rooms to one per family.
We do not conduct a credit check or see any credit history information.

If RMHC determines that a family member with a criminal conviction may not stay or visit at the House, the rest of the family is still welcome to stay, pending availability.

You are welcome to call the House and speak to Susan Salt at 410-528-1010 ext. 103 about your personal circumstances. A denial is not made lightly.

It costs $0 to stay at our House. Donations of any amount are always greatly appreciated so that we can provide our services for future families, but no family will ever be turned away based on their ability to contribute.
Yes. A family is welcomed to a room at Ronald McDonald House whether their child is inpatient or outpatient. The child must be age 21 or younger. All patients must be accompanied in the House by a parent or guardian at all times. For any family whose child is being treated on an outpatient basis, the child must be receiving treatment at least three times per week at a local hospital, unless you are here for a one day return appointment.

Yes, families are not booked for longer than 90 days. If you have any questions about our length of stay policy, please feel free to email Susan Salt with any questions.

The House maintains a waiting list of families requesting rooms at Ronald McDonald House. We understand that families may need to go home for a couple of days at a time to take care of personal matters. In those cases, please contact NaKiema Neal, our Director of Family Care, to make arrangements. NaKiema can be reached at or 410-528-1010, ext. 119.

If it has been 90 days or less since the last visit, a family can call the House directly and the manager on duty will fill out a returning family referral (request for a room, not a reservation). If it has been more than 90 days, a new referral will need to be sent by the hospital social worker or case worker. Families will be notified 72 hours prior to the requested check-in date (or 1 week prior for families traveling from Hawaii, Alaska and one month in advance for those traveling from outside the United States) regarding availability.

If a room is not available, the family will be placed on our wait list. The wait list is neither a reservation nor a guarantee to a room. Hospital social workers or case workers may be able to help locate temporary housing alternatives. In addition, RMHC has a list of local hotels which offer our wait list families discounted rates.

While marijuana has been decriminalized or made legal for certain uses under state law, it remains illegal under federal law, and the use/and or possession of marijuana (in any form) at the RMHC, even if for a medical necessity or debilitating medical condition, is strictly prohibited.  The RMHC policy also includes being under the influence of, using, consuming, transferring, selling, or attempting to sell any form of controlled substance or illegal drug, including marijuana (as classified under federal law) at any time on or in RMHC property, building, premises, or vehicles.

We have provided a designated cigarette smoking area.

If you are unsure where the smoking area is, please ask us at the Welcome Desk and we will be happy to show you the way.  All interior spaces at the RMHC, including guest bedrooms and bathrooms, are smoke free. At no time can you smoke in front of the House or anywhere except the designated smoking area.  Two cigarette butt receptacles have been provided in the smoking area.  Please do not put your cigarette butts anywhere except in the receptacles. The smoke-free policy includes, but is not limited to cigarettes, tobacco, marijuana, smokeless tobacco, and devices such as e-cigarettes, pipes and vaporizers.

No alcohol or illegal drugs will be used, consumed, or stored anywhere on RMHC property.  This includes the consumption of alcohol or drug use off site and returning to the House impaired.  The use and/or possession of marijuana, in any form, even if for a medical necessity or debilitating medical condition, is strictly prohibited.

There is no formal counseling program, but families do receive support from staff, volunteers and other families going through similar experiences.
Yes. We accept deliveries during normal business hours and will be happy to forward them to the family. Please note, we may not accept any delivery of medical supplies or medications that need refrigeration. A family representative must be present to receive such deliveries. If you are having mail sent to the House, please include your room number as part of the delivery address.
Visitors are welcome but must be met at the front door by the family they are visiting, sign in at the Welcome Desk and receive a visitor’s wristband. Visitors are welcome in all common areas of the House but not in guest bedrooms. The children living at Ronald McDonald House are medically fragile and highly susceptible to infections. Any person who has a physical condition that would endanger the health of our other guests, such as a cold or flu, chickenpox, etc., may not visit Ronald McDonald House. Visiting hours are between 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Dinner is prepared daily by outside volunteer meal groups, but we cannot guarantee meals each day. RMHC provides staples such as eggs, milk, sandwich meat, cheese, bread, yogurt, and condiments. 

Please note we are unable to provide for dietary restrictions or allergies.

RMHC also has a kitchen for families to use. Each family is provided with their own small cabinet for dry food, as well as common refrigerator space (one shelf in a refrigerator) with a marked basket. The kitchen is fully stocked with cooking appliances and utensils. Free coffee is available 24/7 as well as a vending machine where guests may buy Coke products.

Our House is fortunate to have tickets for several area attractions. The tickets are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. In order to allow families the opportunity to use the passes, they need to be used the day they are picked up. Passes are available for:

No. Parents are required to be responsible for their own children and provide supervision at all times. Children under the age of 21 may not be left alone in the House and any patient may never be alone in the House. Also, other House families cannot care for the child(ren) of another House family.

To maintain the safety of our guests, the doors to Ronald McDonald House are always locked. Guests receive swipe cards so that they may come and go to suit the needs of their children. Quiet hours are between 9:00 p.m. – 8:00 a.m. We ask that all House guests respect these quiet hours. 

Families are required to sign in and out at the welcome desk. That way if there is an emergency, we know how to find you.

There is a shuttle service between Ronald McDonald House and the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Sinai Hospital, University of Maryland Medical Center, UMMC Shock Trauma, and Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital. The House shuttle runs from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at specific times for each location.

We ask that all guests sign up for the shuttle the night before they need it because the shuttle does not run automatically. Patients or anyone under the age of 21 cannot ride the shuttle without a parent or guardian. In addition, check with your hospital to see if they offer their own transportation.

You must bring your own car seat and/or booster seat if you plan on using our transportation (Under Maryland’s Child Passenger Safety Law, a child who is zero to seven years old and is shorter than 4’9” must be secured in a child safety seat)

Yes, wireless internet access is provided in our House.
  • Each family has its own bedroom with two queen size beds, a private bathroom, telephone, hairdryer, television, and Blu-ray player.
  • Shared communal spaces include: kitchen and dining areas, living room, a computer area with internet access, laundry facilities (washers and dryers), a game room, indoor and outdoor play areas, an exercise room, teen room, meditation room, business center, and roof-top terraces.
  • We provide guest families with towels, blankets, and other linens and ask that, while in our House, guests take responsibility for keeping these items laundered.
  • We provide cleaning supplies, trash bags, and paper products during your stay.
  • Basic food items and toiletries are available.
  • Pack and Plays & Diaper Genies
  • We do not offer medical supplies such as wheelchairs, shower chairs, or breast pumps or car seats and strollers.
  • Families are responsible for keeping their room in good condition, cleaning up after their family in all areas of the House, and cleaning their rooms and linens as needed.
  • Free underground parking, for one vehicle per family.
  • At Ronald McDonald House, our top priority is the health, safety, and well-being of our guest families. For this reason, we have various policies and safeguards in place: Anyone 21 years of age and younger must be accompanied by an adult relative or legal guardian.
  • For your health, all families are screened to prevent the spread of infectious diseases throughout our Ronald McDonald House. This screening takes place via the referral and check-in form.
  • No weapons of any kind are allowed on the property, even if you have a license to carry a weapon (concealed or otherwise). If you are required to carry a weapon for your job, please speak with Susan Salt at 410-528-1010 ext. 103 before your arrival.
  • The safety of all Ronald McDonald House families is very important to us. Please speak with NaKiema Neal (410 – 528-1010, ext. 119) if anyone planning to stay with your family has a restraining order or “no contact” order. RMHC reserves the right to refuse admittance to any potential resident or guest with a criminal conviction. RMHC does not admit anyone with a felony or misdemeanor conviction that may threaten the health, safety, welfare, and ability of other individuals to peacefully enjoy the House (e.g., violent crimes, domestic violence, child abuse, sex offenses, illegal drug activity and/or burglary). RMHC also will not admit any individual who provides false, incomplete, or misleading responses during the formal criminal history background check process. RMHC, in its sole discretion, will make that determination before granting an individual’s application for temporary residence. RMHC also reserves the right to expel a guest for any other inappropriate, irresponsible, or criminal behavior that takes place while temporarily residing at the House.

No. We ask that you take responsibility for maintaining your room while you are here, including cleaning your room daily, washing your own dishes and frequently laundering your bed linens and bath towels.

Our House offers a variety of areas for children and parents to relax and have fun:

  • Playroom
  • Teen Room
  • Game room with a pool table, arcade game, and air hockey table
  • Gaming systems such as Wii
  • Games cabinets with puzzles and board games
  • Planned activities, musical performers, therapy dogs and arts and crafts
  • Outside garden play area

Yes, search RMHC Maryland in the Apple App Store or Android Store to find it and download our app as a handy tool throughout the duration of your stay in Baltimore. Be sure to enable Push Notifications. During your stay, the app will be our communication tool. You’ll get alerts for event tickets, be able to view the meal schedule and so much more. View the instructions to download the app.

For an accessible version of any documents on this page, please contact Jackie Kempa