A single-story house on a quiet street. Inside, comfortable bedrooms designed to accommodate two terminally ill individuals. A small staff. Scores of well-trained, loyal volunteers. Medical oversight and nursing visits through trusted local providers.

Technically, that's Matthew House - a not-for-profit, non-denominational comfort care home serving Cayuga County and the surrounding areas of Skaneateles and Jordan-Elbridge.

But, the soul of Matthew House is the people who call it home - our residents and the loved ones who abide with them as they complete their journey in this world.

Since our opening in 2002, Matthew House has welcomed more then 260 residents. Some were with us for weeks or months, some only days.

Every one of those individuals has, indeed, lived with us. They brought their unique personalities and memories, and shared their families and closest friends.

We became a part of their story. They became part of our growing family.

The immediate Matthew House family is a changing one, but always bonded by caring and dignity as the life of one member comes to an end. It is a close-knit family, continually finding its way through intimate, yet universal, emotions.

Our extended family includes all of those touched by the Matthew House mission. Relatives, neighbors and coworkers of the families who spent time with us. Helpers in the community who weed the garden, send grocery gift cards, hold raffles, hot dog eating contests and donate the proceeds. Businesses and foundations, professionals and contractors whose support literally keeps the roof over our heads and comfortable surroundings within.

We're here because we're needed. At Matthew House, peace of mind has a home address.

Because our services are provided at no charge whatsoever, and we receive no public funding or insurance reimbursement, our existence depends entirely on contributions by donors and volunteers. We are blessed, because our community believes that comfort and dignity at the end of life are precious, and follows through with active support.

We are grateful for the heartfelt generosity that has sustained us for more than a decade.

And we are thankful for the many lives, the laughs, tears and countless kindnesses, that have made Matthew House a home...where love is always welcome.