A facility offering free lodging for cancer patients had its ground-breaking ceremony Oct. 3.

The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Hope Lodge will have 64 suites for patients visiting Houston’s Texas Medical Center for cancer treatment, “saving cancer patients more than $3 million annually in lodging expenses,” according to a press release.

Funds for the $30-million facility were raised in part by the American Cancer Society and its Hope Lodge program. The program “provides free lodging for cancer patients and their caregivers traveling out of town for treatment, alleviating the financial burden of paying for accommodations and providing a community for those facing a cancer diagnosis.”

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More than 125,000 cancer patients visit Houston’s hospitals every year, including the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Texas Children’s Hospital. The lodge will be located near Highway 288 and Old Spanish Trail, less than two miles from the Texas Medical Center.

The facility will give patients a comfortable place to stay between treatments, without the added expense of hotel stays or restaurant meals.

Each suite will have a private bedroom, private bathroom, and shared kitchen and dining areas. Patients can visit the comfortable recreation room, use the resource library to learn more about their treatments or get some fresh air in the garden and patio areas. The lodge will also provide free transportation to and from treatment facilities.

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The press statement also mentions the Houston Hope Lodge will be the largest such center in the nation, with 30 others already in place around the country. The lodge will be the first such center in southeast Texas. Another lodge is set to break ground in Dallas next year.

A new lodge is breaking ground in Houston to bring hope and a free room to those under going cancer treatment AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File