The Victorian home that serves as the St. Patrick House has been a Missoula landmark for more than 100 years. The house was built in 1910 and is listed in the US Department of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places. For many years, it served as lodging for transitional industrial laborers in the area. In 1948, the house was converted to a convalescent home. And, in 1964, the house was used as apartments with furnished rooms.
From 1983 to 1993, the house was a Missoula Youth Home. For the next two years, Women’s Place occupied the building for offices and temporary housing for women in crisis. In 1995, the house was the Montana Grand Bed and Breakfast and Trappings Interior Design.
In 1998, Heidi Dewey, wife of a local physician, recognized that although Missoula offered exceptional medical care at its hospitals, many out-of-area patients could not afford shelter or necessities while in town, or needed a place to stay for an extended period while undergoing treatment. She proposed St. Patrick Hospital Foundation create a hospitality house for those in need. Her vision quickly gained momentum as others recognized the obvious need. The St. Patrick Hospital Foundation raised funds to purchase the building and land and St. Patrick House was created for patients and families undergoing medical care.
St. Patrick House opened in September, 1999, with 10 bedrooms to accommodate 20 people each night. People could cook their own meals and find peace away from the stressful hospital atmosphere. In 2007, the St. Patrick Hospital Foundation added five more rooms and offered respite for 30 people each night. St. Patrick House serves nearly 2,000 individuals each year. Since 1999, close to 20,000 men, women and children from across Montana, from every state in the nation and from 15 foreign countries have stayed under St. Patrick House’s roof.
Nearly every night, St. Patrick House is filled to capacity with medical travelers and their families, regardless of income level. St. Patrick House operates by the generous donations from local businesses and foundations, private donors and a nominal nightly rate.