Adams House a home for those seeking help |

Adams House a home for those seeking help

Amanda Hammon

Having a home means having safety, security and a place to build confidence.

The Carson-Tahoe Hospital Foundation and Cancer Resource Center opened the doors to their home Wednesday, hoping that people looking for help would feel welcome there.

The open house for the historic Adams House on Minnesota Street drew a large crowd, including members of the Adams family.

DeWitt Adams built the Craftsman-style bungalow between 1921 and 1922.

His grandson Ken Adams of Reno wore his grandfather’s shirt to the dedication as he welcomed the foundation and resource center into the house.

“It’s his house, and I came to say the words for him,” Adams said. “My grandfather would have been proud that the house is on the National Register of Historic Places, but he’d be more proud if he knew it had a purpose he believed in.

“What the house gave to those raised here was confidence to face a difficult world,” Adams added. “Cancer patients are facing a difficult time, and we hope it does the same for them.”

The small, white house is part of the hospital, but is a world away from the more clinical atmosphere of the hospital. Essentially an office, it is still a home in spirit with mission-style furniture and rugs laid on the original wood floors.

Although the cancer center officially opened Wednesday, Cancer Center Coordinator Ann Proffitt said she’s had two or three patients visit the center since the beginning of the year.

“It’s really devastating to get the diagnosis of cancer,” said Proffitt, a cancer survivor. “People don’t know where to start, and we’re here to guide them through that. This is a one-stop shop for cancer patients. It gives patients an opportunity to get away from the clinical hospital atmosphere, relax and find out what resources are available to them.”

The center boasts a library, two Internet-wired computers, support groups and referral resources. All services at the center are free.

Nikki Meloskie, director and spokeswoman for Family to Family, Americans for Prostate Cancer Awareness and Support, said her group was donating books to the center’s library. Meloskie said the house is a perfect spot for a resource center.

“This is a real live structure, a home,” Meloskie said. “There’s something special about being able to walk into the home of someone who cares about you. This house exudes love and family, safety and comfort and that’s what support is about.”

Margaret Adams, DeWitt’s daughter, lived in the house until her death in 1997. The house was sold to the hospital then. The structure was slated to become a parking lot until historical groups urged the hospital to save the building.

Hospital trustees said they would give the house to the foundation but wouldn’t spend a cent to repair it.

Pam Graber, executive director of the hospital foundation, applauded the hospital’s decision to preserve the house.

“(DeWitt Adams) built this house with his own hands so sturdily,” Graber said. “The horrible problems we’d envisioned weren’t there.”

Graber said the house was so well-built, the remodeling work was completed for about $53,000 instead of the $100,000 the foundation expected to spend on the project.

After a year of existence, the foundation finally has a home. The foundation raises money for the hospital primarily through donations and grants. Money from the foundation is appropriated by the foundation board of directors. Graber said she hoped the new location would offer the foundation more visibility.

The Carson-Tahoe Hospital Cancer Resource Center is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. All services at the center are free. For information call 1-877-284-2627. For information on the Hospital Foundation call 883-3308.