Built with Love by KWPR
What is The Ballard House?
The Ballard House is a 40 room residential facility in Katy, Texas that provides free, temporary housing to patients and their families visiting the Katy area for treatment of life-threatening illnesses. The large majority of guests are cancer or transplant patients, but they’ve housed patients with a myriad of diagnoses from around the world. They do not have a financial barometer for qualification, only that there is a medical need, verified by the patient’s physician or social worker.
Why is it so important to us?
In 2006, during Keller Williams Realty’s annual national convention, Mo Anderson, then CEO of the company, stood before a room of more than 15,000 real estate agents and challenged them all to return home and leave a legacy in the communities in which they served.
The associates of Keller Williams Premier Realty in Katy took that challenge to heart. Construction of the West Houston Medical center had just started with Methodist, Texas Children’s Hospital, Memorial Hermann, Christus St. Catherine, and St. Luke’s all planning expansions in the community. The growing medical community meant thousands of patients would be coming to Katy for their treatments and would need housing. Thus was born the rough idea for Cinco Charities and of providing temporary housing for all of those new patients.
In the early years, Cinco Charities lived their mission by providing housing in nearby hotels and extended stay facilities through generous donations and small fundraising events within the community.
The History of The Ballard House
Everything changed in 2011. That year, Erin Ballard, a cancer patient herself, learned about Cinco Charities through her oncologist, Dr. Sunil Patel at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Katy and was inspired to donate the use of one of her rental properties to Cinco Charities to expand their outreach.
That home became known as Erin’s House. Erin and her friends took it upon themselves to restore, refinish, and redecorate the entire home, even installing new Tempurpedic beds, making the house a home-away-from-home and favorite destination for many of the guests. Erin’s husband Monty was also touched by the mission and founded The Ballard Foundation to advance the charity’s goal of building their own hospitality house in Katy.
“We live in Katy, not far down the street from MD Anderson,” Monty Ballard said. “We started thinking about the people that live in other states who want the best treatment available but just couldn’t afford the other pieces of the puzzle. They might have great insurance, but still couldn’t afford to travel here to stay and get treatment. We thought we could make it possible for Cinco Charities to move forward.”
In December of 2013, a huge crowd of supporters celebrated the grand opening of The Ballard House, a then 20,000 sf facility located on 3 acres in the heart of Katy. A few days later, our first five families were moved in. And they’ve kept coming, from all over Texas, across the country, and around the world.
In January of 2019, after restoring the house from the ravages of Hurricane Harvey, The Ballard House, with funding from The Ballard Foundation, opened the doors to its new expansion, extending the home from 24 guest suites to 40.
Since the inception of the charity, The Ballard House has hosted over 61,000 nights of completely free lodging. They’ve housed almost 12,000 people and remained open throughout Covid. As of May 2021, they are back up to 83% and have a wait list. With twelve hospital partners, The Ballard House offers lodging for any age group and disease type, all at NO COST.
How you can help
Because The Ballard House is OUR charity it was critically important that the organization adopt OUR culture. And so when the bylaws for the charity were drafted, we made sure that the board of directors would always be made up of at least 51% Keller Williams Premier Realty Associates.
And that’s why we continue to give. As an office. As individual agents. And through various fundraisers that are held throughout the year. If you feel so led, we hope you’ll be encouraged to do the same.