Jane Marie Young Named Executive Director of Abode Home

San Antonio (March, 2014) Press Release

Jane Marie YoungbABODE Contemplative Care for the Dying is pleased to announce that Jane Marie Young will be the new Executive Director of their non-profit, interfaith organization.

Ms. Young spent her formative years in Havana, Cuba before, during and after the Cuban Revolution. Witnessing death, disillusionment and sorrow at a very young age inspired her life-long commitment and passion to offer comfort, hope and
support to all those facing death, grief and loss.

Ms. Young received a Masters of Contemplative psychotherapy from Naropa University in Boulder, CO, and has been providing end of life care in a variety of settings for over 21 years. The last 11 years at Hope Hospice in New Braunfels, TX where she received “Bereavement Coordinator of the Year” in 2006 from Texas New Mexico Hospice Organization (TNMHO).

She is an accredited therapist in working with dementia patients. As a Director of Bereavement and Psychosocial Services, Ms. Young received national recognition from Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP) for “Best Practices” for bereavement program development. In addition, Ms. Young participated in BEING WITH DYING: The professional Training Program in Contemplative End-of-Life
Care at Upaya Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico, founded by Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD.

“Being the Executive Director of ABODE is the greatest honor of my career,” Ms. Young stated, “ABODE offers a special experience of sharing loving kindness with our guests by providing round-the-clock, compassionate care in a nurturing home environment that extends to all family and friends in need of comfort and support.”

The ABODE home, being built at 8619 Post Oak Lane will open its doors this summer to those who do not have an adequate home or care. Guests stay free of charge and will receive round-the-clock personal care by ABODE staff members, hospice agency personnel, and expertly-trained volunteers. The Executive Director, Jane Marie Young, will oversee the home, staff and volunteers and carry out the
ABODE mission of compassionate care at end of life.

Today's Catholic

Abode — a special home for the dying in San Antonio

 

By Carol Baass Sowa
Today's Catholic

SAN ANTONIO • A San Antonio father with teenage children is near death from cancer. His wife is supporting the family with her job and her employment benefits will cover his hospice care, but hospice requires the presence of a caregiver, which the family cannot afford. Nor can the wife afford to quit her job to look after him full-time. Where do they turn in a situation like this? In about six months they will have Abode.

Abode, a new non-profit, interfaith ministry created to provide contemplative care for the dying, is preparing to break ground on a special house where those in the last few weeks or months of life can receive visits from family and hospice care in a home-like atmosphere. Funded by grants and donations, there will be no charge to those availing themselves of this service.

"Whatever hospice agency they choose will come into the (Abode) home and do the medical and the palliative care," says Liz Newhouse, a cofounder and board member of Abode. "We will have trained volunteers and a small staff to do the personal care and work with the families and also be an educational resource in the community about contemplative living and dying."

"We believe that dying is a natural process of life," says Patsy Sasek, also a cofounder and board member. Abode's philosophy is the same as that of hospice care, she explains, based on the original hospices of the Middle Ages, where convents and monasteries took in pilgrims who became too ill to travel farther. "They would receive the very best care," she adds, "because the nuns and the brothers and fathers knew that they were as close to heaven as you could get, so they treated them with great care and love. And that's what we're basing our home, Abode, on."

The idea for such a home in San Antonio came from Patsy's husband, Edwin Sasek, and was something he had long dreamed of doing. A hospice chaplain, he had attended the Elizabeth Kübler-Ross Hospice Institute in New Mexico and later seen a fellow student there open a home similar to Abode in Michigan, the Toni and Trish House."It's a home that cares for three people at a time in the last three months of their life," explains Sasek, "and there is no cost to those who stay there."

Newhouse and Edwin Sasek visited the Toni and Trish House in Michigan, which has a number of these homes, to see it in operation. "I'd been immersed in the concept for three years," says Newhouse, "and yet, when I walked into the home, I was overwhelmed — the love and the care and the naturalness of it." Some of the residents (they are referred to as "guests") were up and about and ate with them in the dining room, she recalls. There was always a pot of soup cooking in the kitchen and volunteers coming in to do baking. Especially impressive were the many volunteers, ranging in age from young college students to elderly retirees, who came by to do whatever was needed.

"We've spent about three years putting down our roots," says Newhouse. "We wanted to be very careful about moving slowly enough that we had very solid policies and procedures, a board that was functioning and best practices in everything we do, so it's taken us several years."

During that time, Abode has enlisted an impressive roster of donors, advisers and helpers to help get it off the ground. They have also been the recipient of grants — some of which were unsolicited. "We have been blessed by the generosity of this community," Newhouse notes.

It took almost a year of house-hunting for them to find the right property for the Abode home, armed with a $150,000 donation, and when they saw the ranch-style house on a near-acre tract studded with heritage oaks and just off northeast Loop 410 at 8619 Post Oak Lane, they collectively said: "This is it!" Even better, the home's price was several thousand below their budgeted amount.

In addition to the peaceful, homelike atmosphere they sought, the property met the requirements of being centrally located and near a bus line for ease of access by the 60 to 80 volunteers Abode hopes to enlist. Some will help with house and yard work — mowing the lawn, cleaning, doing laundry; others will sit and keep the residents company. "There are so many different ways you could become involved," notes Newhouse, "and we will train the volunteers."

The original plan was to remodel the house, but they soon learned this would not be feasible with all the retrofitting required, and in early August the old house was razed (with none of the trees lost) to make room for what will be a new 2,900-square-foot one with three handicapped-accessible bedrooms with bathrooms.

Pointing to the house plans by Luna Architecture + Design, Sasek notes, "All the guest rooms face the yard and there is a covered patio where the families can go out and sit and a quiet room — or it could be a chapel." There is also a courtyard with garden and fountain, a family room, dining room, kitchen and small library or study. "It will be a beautiful environment," she says. "It's very tranquil and the trees are gorgeous."

Newhouse explains that Abode will meet the gap in services for people who cannot afford a nursing home as their loved one nears death and who need a place offering more than a seven-day maximum stay in a hospice in-patient facility.

"There are Medicaid beds in some nursing homes," she notes, "but it would be very impersonal if someone didn't have their own family." Persons who do not qualify for Medicare benefits, single persons without families and the homeless are among those whom Abode could also serve.

Those with the greatest need will receive priority, as far as being accepted as guests and, based on experience at similar homes, it is anticipated up to 70 persons could be served yearly. "Everybody will be welcome," says Newhouse, "and we will try to meet their needs in every way — from diet to personal care to any type of religious affiliation coming in and working with them. We will accept them where they are and be there to listen and walk the journey with them."

For people in this country, there is often a disconnect or fear of talking about death, says Newhouse, and Abode's goal is "to show visibly how people can die gently and with a loving group around them, including their family."

The ministry also seeks to increase awareness about the blessings of the life cycle we are all a part of, making what Sasek calls "that beautiful time of passing" a better experience for all involved.

"We've had a big outpouring of support and help from people," says Sasek, "and it seems like those we need just appear at the right time." More help is needed though. A building campaign is underway, with construction commencing once the necessary funding goal is met.

In the upcoming months, Abode will also be hiring an executive director and begin training volunteers.

In September, they will be hosting a contemplative art month with ¡Viva! Bookstore featuring events involving the visual arts, writing, yoga and more.

Persons interested in more information are asked to contact Abode at (210) 967-9891 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Information is also available on their website, www.abodehome.org, and a representative from Abode will be happy to come to your church or organization to give a presentation.

"We're very thankful for everything that has been given to us," says Newhouse, as the Abode home comes closer to being a reality. "It's a wonderful thing to experience that people would have this much faith in what we are doing."

Adds Sasek: "I think when God is in on it, everything seems to fall into place."

Published in Today's Catholic, August 23, 2013. http://www.satodayscatholic.com/page5095185944.aspx

 

KSAT12 News Coverage of the Groundbreaking

KSAT 12's Coverage of the ABODE Home Groundbreaking

Plans are underway for a new option in hospice care in Northeast San Antonio.

On Wednesday morning (November 13, 2013), a groundbreaking ceremony took place for Adobe Contemplative Care for the Dying, a center that will provide housing and care, free of charge.

The home will be nestled among some trees in the 8600 block of Post Oak Lane, near Los Patios.

The mission of the center is to help provide peace of mind to those at the end of life and their family members.

"Abode is for those individuals who really need care at the end of life, and whose families are not able to provide it for them, or there are some restrictions where they need some assistance and what better way to take care of somebody than towards the end of their life," said Waheeda Kara, a member of Abode Advisory Board.

Abode President and founder Edwin Sasek said the center will be the first of its kind in Central and South Texas to provide a home and help for free.

The nonprofit will be run by volunteers and paid for through donations.

Gordon Hartman, the guest speaker at the groundbreaking event, presented the center with a $15,000 grant from the Hartman Foundation.

"Those who are in their final days of their lives here on earth are going to be given the best care without economics playing a role, and that means a lot," said Hartman.

The 2,900 square-foot, three-bedroom/three-bath home will have an outdoor fountain and garden, as well as a quiet room and family room.

It will house up to three guests at a time.

Sasek estimated up to 70 guests will be cared for there every year.  

"Somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 people a day are receiving hospice care in San Antonio and so certainly the need is there for people who don't have adequate housing or care giving to have a place to come," said Sasek.

Although construction hasn't officially started, Sasek said the organization is already receiving calls from people in need of the service.

They plan to open their doors and welcome their first guests by June 2014.

More information about Abode is available at www.abodehome.org or 210-967-9891.

News

ABODE Receives Grant from The Greehey Family Foundation

(San Antonio, February 2013) ABODE Contemplative Care for the Dying is pleased to announce a recent grant of $25,000 from The Greehey Family Foundation, to be used to remodel the home ABODE will use for its guests. “This grant will significantly help in our goal to open our doors in 2013,” said Edwin Sasek, founder and president of the board of ABODE. “The generosity of the Greehey Family Foundation will enable us to remodel our home at 8619 Post Oak Lane, so that it will be accessible, welcoming and comfortable home for our future guests.” Sasek noted.

ABODE has selected Robert Luna of Luna Architecture & Design to design the renovation of the home. ABODE is a non-profit, interfaith organization that will help serve people at end of life who can’t be cared for in their own homes for various reasons. ABODE will train volunteers to help care for up to three guests, and support family members or loved ones who are able to participate in the care of their loved one living at ABODE.

Guests at ABODE will be recommended by hospice agencies who are providing their medical care. The hospice will continue to care for them as if they were in their own home. “ABODE will offer a home with a simple, welcoming, peaceful ambience for people entering the last three months of life,” said Sasek. ABODE is also a community resource for education and support in end of life care.

There will be no charge for guests to live at ABODE. Operating expenses will be met by donations from individuals, businesses, religious groups, community organizations, and grants. “A gift to ABODE may be made in memory or in honor of a loved one by going on the website at www.abodehome.org and directly making a donation. Gifts will be be applied towards the remodeling of the home and operating expenses for ABODE.

For more information about ABODE, to make a donation or to learn more about volunteer opportunities, please visit www.abodehome.org, call 210-967-9891, or mail: PO Box 47640, San Antonio, 78265.

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ABODE Receives Two Grants

 (San Antonio, February 2012) ABODE Contemplative Care for the Dying is pleased to announce two recent grant awards. Diane Graves Owen Foundation awarded ABODE a grant of $15,000 for use in underwriting the expenses associated with the acquisition of a house. In addition, the Gentiva Hospice Foundation awarded a $2,500 grant to ABODE, also to be used to secure a home and to begin caring for patients that receive hospice attention daily, but are not able to be cared for in their own home during the final stage of life.  “These grants will significantly help in our goal to open our doors in 2012,” said Edwin Sasek, founder and president of the board of ABODE.

ABODE is a newly formed non-profit, interfaith organization that will help serve people receiving hospice care but for many reasons aren’t able to be cared for in their own home. ABODE will train volunteers to help care for up to three guests, and support family members or loved ones who are able to participate in the care of their loved one living at ABODE.  “ABODE will offer a home with a simple, welcoming, peaceful ambience for people entering the last few weeks or months of life,” said Sasek. ABODE is also a community resource for education and support in end of life care.

There will be no charge for guests to live at ABODE. Operating expenses will be met by donations from individuals, businesses, religious groups, community organizations, and grants. “A gift to ABODE may be made in memory or in honor of a loved one by going on the website at www.abodehome.org and directly making a donation.  Gifts will be be applied towards operating expenses and the rental of a home for ABODE. “Of course, it would be ideal to have someone donate a home or offer it at a reduced price,” added Sasek.

For more information about ABODE, to make a donation or to learn more about volunteer opportunities, please visit www.abodehome.org, call 210-967-9891, or mail: PO Box 47640, San Antonio, 78284.

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ABODE Receives Large Donation

 (San Antonio, December 2011) ABODE Contemplative Care for the Dying is pleased to announce a recent donation of $25,000 from an annonymous donor. “This donation will significantly help in our goal to open our doors in 2012,” said Edwin Sasek, founder and president of the board of ABODE. “This generous donation was given in honor of ABODE advisory board member, Peg Armstrong from a former client,” Sasek noted.

ABODE is a newly formed non-profit, interfaith organization that will help serve people receiving hospice care but for many reasons aren’t able to be cared for in their own home. ABODE will train volunteers to help care for up to three guests, and support family members or loved ones who are able to participate in the care of their loved one living at ABODE.  “ABODE will offer a home with a simple, welcoming, peaceful ambience for people entering the last three months of life,” said Sasek. ABODE is also a community resource for education and support in end of life care.

There will be no charge for guests to live at ABODE. Operating expenses will be met by donations from individuals, businesses, religious groups, community organizations, and grants. “In this season of giving, a gift to ABODE may be made in memory or in honor of a loved one by going on the website at www.abodehome.org and directly making a donation.*  Gifts will be be applied towards operating expenses and the rental of a home for ABODE. “Of course, it would be ideal to have someone donate a home or offer it at a reduced price,” added Sasek.

For more information about ABODE, to make a donation or to learn more about volunteer opportunities, please visit www.abodehome.org, call 210-967-9891, or mail: PO Box 47640, San Antonio, 78284.

*Additional Information:

ABODE will have a table at the Alternative Gift Market on Sunday, Dec. 11 at the Church of Reconciliation,

8900 Starcrest, San Antonio, TX 78217.  ABODE Board Members will be present from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM

and 12-1 PM to answer questions and take donations in honor or in memory of loved ones.

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ABODE to Hold Dia de los Muertos Labyrinth Walk

 (San Antonio, October 2011) ABODE Contemplative Care for the Dying will offer a monthly meditation as part of its mission to be an educational outreach in the community and celebrate life and death through the Contemplative Arts. ABODE welcomes the community to meet the last Monday of each month.

The first meditation will be a labyrinth walk will take place on Monday, October 31 at 7:00 PM at the Church of Reconciliation outdoor labyrinth and chapel area at 8900 Starcrest on the Barrington Street side of the campus. The evening will be a celebration of loved ones who have died in a traditional “Dia de los Muertos” event.  The community is encouraged to bring photos, mementos and other items to be added to an altar or “ofrenda” to honor and remember those who have died.

ABODE is a newly formed non-profit organization that will help serve people who are receiving hospice care but for many reasons aren’t able to be cared for in their home. ABODE will train volunteers to help care for up to three guests, and support family members or loved ones who are able to participate in the care of their loved one living at ABODE.  “ABODE will offer a home with a simple, welcoming, peaceful ambience for people entering the last few months of life,” said Edwin Sasek, founder and president of the board of ABODE.

There will be no charge for guests to live at ABODE. Operating expenses will be met by donations from individuals, businesses, religious groups, community organizations, and grants. “We are asking for donations towards the purchase of a home for ABODE. Of course, it would be ideal to have someone donate a home or offer it at a reduced price,” added Sasek.

Guests at ABODE will be recommended by hospice agencies. The hospice team will visit to provide professional palliative care.  Guests will be welcome regardless of religious, social and financial backgrounds. Priority will be given to those in greatest need.  ABODE is needed to provide care in a home setting for those who can no longer stay in their own homes. ABODE will provide a home for the guest for up to three months.

As an interfaith organization, ABODE will draw from the contemplative traditions of the world’s great religions in loving, compassionate service to the dying. ABODE is also a community resource for education and support in end of life care.

In a recent interview with Richard Rohr, noted theologian, writer and teacher, Rohr said, “This is genius,” refering to ABODE and the concept of caring for the dying in a contemplative way. “Walking with someone in a contemplative way, to really understand human life...it’s a transformative experience that changes both parties,” said Rohr.

To watch the video with Richard Rohr, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcLOmxT5snc

For more information about ABODE, make a donation or to learn more about volunteer opportunities, please contact: 210-967-9891 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or visit the website at www.abodehome.org.

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ABODE Contemplative Care for the Dying Receives Non Profit Status

 (San Antonio, August 2011) President of the Board, Edwin Sasek, announced that 501(c)3, nonprofit status has been received for a new organization ABODE: Contemplative Care for the Dying.

“ABODE will offer a home with a simple, welcoming, peaceful ambience for people entering the last few months of life,” said Edwin Sasek.

The ABODE Board and members of the organizing group will celebrate the approval of their nonprofit status on Sunday, August 28 from 2-4 PM at the Church of Reconciliation, 8900 Starcrest, San Antonio, 78217.

ABODE will help serve people who are receiving hospice care but for many reasons aren’t able to be cared for in their home. A termininally ill person may not have a caregiver at home; family members may have limitations in providing care, or there is not an adequate place to stay. ABODE will train volunteers to help care for up to three guests, and support family members who are able to participate in the care of their loved one living at ABODE.  The hospice team will visit to provide professional palliative care.

Guests at ABODE will be recommended by hospice agencies. Guests will be welcome regardless of religious, social and financial backgrounds. Priority will be given to those in greatest need.  ABODE is needed because it to provide care in a home setting for those who can no longer stay in their own homes. Typically, hospice in-patient facilities offer care for only as long as necessary for symptom and pain control, while ABODE will provide a home for the guest for up to three months.

There will be no charge for guests to live at ABODE. Operating expenses will be met by donations from individuals, businesses, religious groups, community organizations, and grants.

As an interfaith organization, ABODE will draw from the contemplative traditions of the world’s great religions in loving, compassionate service to the dying. ABODE is also a community resource for education and support in end of life care.

Members of the Board of Directors for ABODE include: Aruthur F. Dawes III, LCSW, Laurie Dietrich, Mike Gentry, Mary Piker, RN, BSN, BBA, Liz Newhouse, MTS, Patricia Sasek, Peter Szarmach, Patri Williams, RN, and Edwin Sasek.

“We are working to raise awareness of the unique contribution ABODE will make in helping to care for terminally ill people by providing a home and round the clock volunteer care,” said Edwin Sasek. “We are seeking donations towards the purchase of property where ABODE will be located. Of course, it would be ideal to have a person or business donate the location or offer it at a reduced price,” added Sasek.

For more information about ABODE, to make a donation or to learn more about volunteer opportunities, please contact: 210-967-9891 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or visit the website at www.abodehome.org.

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