UF Named Facilities
Winn-Dixie Hope Lodge
In 1984, Winn-Dixie and the American Cancer Society (ACS) teamed up to create a special "home away from home" lodge for cancer patients and their families traveling away from home during outpatient treatments.
From this original concept, three such Hope Lodges have been built where patients and family members may stay at no cost in a nurturing home-like residential environment. The first ACS/Winn-Dixie Hope Lodge opened its doors near Shands Medical Center in Gainesville in June 1986, with additional facilities opening in Miami in 1992 and Atlanta in 1998.
At a White House ceremony in 1987, President Ronald Reagan awarded Winn-Dixie the Presidential Award for Private Sector Initiatives for its efforts in supporting the Gainesville Lodge.
The Gainesville Hope Lodge is a dual effort between Winn-Dixie grocery stores and the American Cancer Society that provides free accommodations for patients and spouses undergoing cancer treatment. Built with $1 million in pledges from Winn-Dixie associates that were matched by the Winn-Dixie Foundation, the Hope Lodge opened in 1986. It's located within walking distance of Shands, on land donated by the University of Florida at the cost of $1 a year for 40 years.
The facility consists of 45 suites with a sitting room, bedroom, and bath, as well as two single rooms. Amenities on site include a food panty, support groups, free parking and transportation to hospitals, kitchen, laundry facilities, and an equipped playground. The Lodge is staffed 24 hours a day, with volunteers providing assistance to the resident manager and other staff members. Operating costs are paid through donations to the American Cancer Society or the facility itself.