Let there be light.
After 22 years headquartered in a trailer with mere slits for windows, the staff of Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard has settled into its new home at the Tisbury Marketplace. The one-story building features a reception area, office, bereavement room and conference area (not to be overlooked is the bathroom, which was nonexistent in the trailer). And beyond the considerable size upgrade, this building comes with a view. Large windows on the eastern side overlook Lagoon Pond and its banks, allowing sunlight to stream in. Beyond the windows, a small dog nosed in the reeds of the lagoon as its owner walked behind.
“It’s like being outside, in nature,” nurse Judy Hickey said on Tuesday afternoon, during an open house Hospice hosted to celebrate its move.
For over two decades, Hospice has lived on borrowed space, with its main office in the trailer and meetings held at the hospital and in libraries and churches. But a $500,000 earmarked donation from the late Katherine Graham — designated specifically for a new space after Mrs. Graham’s son Bill Graham visited the trailer one day — paved the way for the new building. Mrs. Graham donated the funds in 2001; it was not until the Tisbury Marketplace space was constructed that Hospice was able to use the money.
“I was the scout,” executive director Terre Young explained. “I found this space and fell in love.”
A subsequent $50,000 donation from the late Don Davis set aside $40,000 for continued staff education and $10,000 for a library, which is now housed in the conference room.
“It means having a real home that we can invite the community into,” Mrs. Young said. “They invite us into their lives during their most intimate moments.”
“We’re very, very fortunate,” she added after a brief tour of the facility. “This is because of the community.”