St. Jude’s Target House is home away from home for families battling cancer

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — FOX23 morning anchor Michelle Linn met with a woman who works for St. Jude and learned what it takes to help families going through their biggest struggle.

Every year since 2013, Michelle has gotten the chance to travel to Memphis and visit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She’s shown viewers inside the hospital, and even visited the long-term housing facility known as Target House.

“When they come to Target House, this is home,” said St. Jude hospitality manager Carmin Blair.

Blair managed a hotel before she came to work for St. Jude. She went from seeing families checking in and out, on vacation for a few days, to having families stay in one of the 97 rooms at Target House for months.

“If we have a room available, we will check them in, but we’re long-term so when our families check in they’re here for three months, six months, nine months. They’re here for a long time,” said Blair. “The way that we clean our rooms and sanitize our rooms, it takes two to three days, so that’s also very different from a normal hotel.”

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“We talk about ebbs and flows and someone will say ‘oh you’re about to have a bunch of checkouts,’ but the thing is, we have a waitlist,” said Blair. “So as soon as our housekeeping department and maintenance department can get those apartments cleaned, and scrubbed, and redressed for the next family, we’ve got someone that we are moving in and we will check those families in seven days a week.”

Blair and the staff do all they can to make it feel like home and to lift families’ spirits.

“We celebrate all the holidays like you have never celebrated a holiday; Christmas, Easter, Halloween,” said Blair.

She said the hardest part about her job is making sure they have everything they need for the families.

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You can help families at Target House, and the rest of St. Jude, by reserving a ticket for the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway.

When you reserve a $100 ticket, you’re helping St. Jude defeat childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Proceeds will be used for the general needs to run St. Jude, where no family ever receives a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food.

If you reserve your ticket by the end of Friday, April 22, you’ll also be entered to win the early bird prize, a trip to Boston to see Kenny Chesney in concert.

Concert tickets, hotel and airfare are all included thanks to FOX23 radio partners, K95.5.

You can get your $100 ticket at, or by calling 1-800-853-1470. Tickets have sold out every year, so don’t wait to get yours!

Tune in to FOX23 News for the Dream Home Giveaway live prize drawing on June 26.