JoeAnna’s House pictured in 2019. The house has been in operation for a year. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)

JoeAnna’s House pictured in 2019. The house has been in operation for a year. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)

JoeAnna’s House celebrates its one-year anniversary

It’s been one year since JoeAnna’s House opened its doors to helping families


A home away from home has been serving families from all over the province – and the world – for a full year.

JoeAnna’s House officially opened on Nov. 25, 2019, and started receiving guests right away. People from out of town with loved ones at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) stayed at the house, receiving support from KGH Foundation staff.

The house’s manager Darlene Haslock said they’ve seen 345 families come through their doors.

“But those 345 families brought close to 700 guests because, for some families, their loved ones are at the hospital for quite a while, so they cycle through people. The longest stay we’ve had is 70 nights. It was a family whose parents were in a head-on collision,” she said.

She added families who’ve stayed at the house have all had positive feedback.

“When they get here, they know this is a safe place. They know that they are supported and they’re close to their loved ones… people feel supported not just by staff, but by other guests and our volunteers.”

“I think that’s the biggest thing, is the support that people get when they’re here. They don’t probably know that they need it until they have an opportunity to open up about what’s going on with their lives,” she said.

Haslock said when COVID-19 first hit B.C., they did see a decrease in people staying at the house. As people stayed home, there were fewer vehicle incidents, which meant there were fewer people at the hospital for treatment. As surgeries were put on hold, there were also fewer people travelling to Kelowna to be with their families.

But they kept their doors open because families still needed them. Babies were still being born, with some families staying because their baby was pre-term and needed to be at the hospital for longer.

The house has a robust COVID-19 safety protocol, which guests strictly follow to keep their loved ones safe. JoeAnna’s House also offers space to accommodate physical distancing.

Haslock said now that there are more rules and restrictions in place, they’ve seen a decrease in people coming to stay at the house, but they will keep their doors open.

KGH Foundation CEO Doug Rankmore said he wanted to thank the community for their support and he hopes Kelowna will continue to support JoeAnna’s House.

“The reason this is here is because of the community and the reason it will continue to stay here is because of the community,” he said.

“We did this together. I’ve got to emphasize how important it is to people that the community support this amazing place for people… the support of the community… but that’s really a support to somebody in their darkest days, so thank you.”

READ: JoeAnna’s House officially opens

Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at
Follow me on Twitter

City of Kelowna

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lake Country looks at big-ticket projects

Bottom Wood Lake Road construction are the biggest investments

Police outside a home on Leathead Road on Monday evening. (Jen Zielinski - Black Press Media)
Police presence at home near Ben Lee Park in Rutland

Several RCMP cruisers are on scene; Leathead closed between Franklyn and Hollywood

Hillview Elementary students Emma Li and Mina Nadeau were awarded by the Premier’s office for winning the annual holiday card contest. (Karen Rogers photo)
Vernon students’ art featured on Premier’s cards

Hillview youth chosen for annual holiday card contest

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
253 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths in Interior Health over the weekend

More than 1,000 cases in the region remain active

COVID-19 related deaths at Oliver, West Kelowna and Vernon senior care homes

Sunnybank, Heritage Retirement Residence and Noric House recorded deaths over the weekend

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun in Salmon Arm. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccinations underway in Salmon Arm

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun

This is the location, 3240 Skaha Lake Road, of where BC Housing plans to build a four storey supportive housing project for the homeless and at risk of being homeless. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton mayor and MLA concerned about new BC Housing project

‘Penticton already has its fair share’ of BC Housing projects

Interior Health declared the COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place long term care home over Monday, Jan. 18, 2020. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place care home declared over

‘This has been one of our most challenging outbreaks so far,’ says chief medical health officer

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Penticton Bylaw officer Glenn Smith, as well as resident Zak Laycock (not pictured), received the Governor General Award from the Royal Canadian Humane Association to recognize their heroism in a summer 2019 incident. (Contributed)
Bylaw officer and Penticton resident given awards for intervening in sexual assault

Bylaw officer Glenn Smith said he was simply in the right place at the right time

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

Most Read