CHICOPEE, Mass. - Harmony House is one step closer to opening with furniture being moved into the home Friday.

What You Need To Know

  • Harmony House will be a home for hospice patients who can no longer live at home

  • Volunteers from Mass Mutual Insurance helped move furniture into the home which is still being set up

  • The building project began since before the pandemic

  • The home does not have an exact opening date yet, but is expected to officially open in late summer

Volunteers from Mass Mutual Insurance took time to help the Chicopee house for hospice patients who can no longer live at home.

Board of Directors President Gina Mazza said it's been a long time coming for the project which started before the pandemic.

"We thought we would close our last home, take six months, redo this house and open up," Mazza said. "And as you know, the world changed. So the supply chain really ended and we honestly didn't have the teams available to volunteer because of the pandemic. So it's been years now, our dream has been on hold."

Volunteers including Louise Labrie shares the dream of opening a hospice space as well.

She said having to take care of people in hospice care in her own family in the past was a big challenge.

"With my husband’s father, my father, we were very lucky we had siblings," Labrie said. "But let me tell you it was hard you work all day. We had to take nights to sleep there. We had to take time for when we had to be there. For appointments. It was very exhausting."

Labrie said many hospice patients live at home with a team of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel looking after them but it's difficult for those who don’t have a large family support system to remain in the home.

"I met a woman that had someone and it was just her and her husband and she was exhausted," Labrie said. "And he's the one who actually said to his hospice, 'I can't be here anymore!' It was killing her."

Harmony House is expected to be run by staff members as well as volunteers.

Labrie said for those who have used a hospice space, having a home with food, shelter and passionate caretakers can make a huge difference.

"It was being able to have someone with him when she couldn't," Labrie said. "Because she still had to work ever yday and she was never alone. He was with someone that actually cared because they wanted to be here whether they knew him or not. To me there's no price on that."

Harmony House does not have an opening date yet, but it is expected to be sometime late this summer.