Hospeace House moving forward in Naples; volunteers needed

The opening of Hospeace House, a home that will offer end-of-life care on County Road 33, hinges on securing close to an estimated 150 volunteers. Jennifer Emmons, Hospeace executive director, said if the nonprofit organization has a list of 150 people each committed to helping just four hours a month, it will ensure the home can open its doors.

Renovations are finishing up at the house that has undergone a transformation from its former life as a four-bed hospice to a two-bed comfort-care home. The change means less stress on meeting expenses while providing the same round-the-clock, end-of-life care as it did for more than a decade before closing in 2016.

“We get phone calls all the time,” said Emmons, a registered nurse who was hired last August as the home’s executive director. People ask about how renovations are going but many don’t realize that opening will depend largely on volunteers, she said.

The nonprofit plans to hire a few additional employees, though volunteers will fill the bulk of needs. Volunteers can help in a variety of ways, including with cleaning, lawn care, building maintenance, kitchen duties and working directly with guests and their families. About 60 people have filled out applications to be a volunteer, said Emmons, who then follows up with each applicant. No experience is necessary, and all volunteers will receive training and support from the entire team that includes fellow volunteers and staff and an expert in spiritual care.

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