Host Stories

Barry and Linda Nelson

Like all good parents, Barry and Linda Nelson wanted to teach their young son about sharing. And they wanted to teach him through deeds, not just words. So the Nelsons signed up to be Hospitality Homes hosts. “We have an extra bedroom,” says Barry. “It seemed like a good thing to share.” That was about 15 years ago, and Barry estimates that since then he and his family have hosted more than 100 Hospitality Homes guests in their Newton home. “It has been tremendously rewarding, with very little effort from us,” he says. “We’ve had all kinds of guests—some we hardly knew were here, and others we enjoyed getting to know.” Barry says people sometimes ask him if he worries that a guest might take something from his home. “First of all, Hospitality Homes does very careful background checks,” he says. “And second, I think that guests are taking the real leap of faith: they are staying in the home of a complete stranger.” Barry says it is important for hosts to create “house rules” and review them with guests when they arrive. The Nelsons do not have a maximum length of stay, and Barry says they once had a guest for three months. “Our son loved it,” he recalls. “It was like having a grandmother in the house.”

Kathy Koplik

I have been a volunteer with many different organizations for most of my adult life.  No volunteer experience has been as satisfying as my work with Hospitality Homes.  There is such a clear connection between the needs of the guest(s) and that which I can provide--a room, a bed, a friendly face, a cup of tea, a warm shower . . . all the little things that help make a difficult time go a bit more smoothly.  It is nice to know that what I do right now makes a difference in someone else's life right now!