The Ballard House History
In 2006, during an inspirational breakfast at Keller Williams Realty’s annual convention, aptly name Family Reunion, then CEO Mo Williams issued a challenge for everyone in attendance to go home, and leave a legacy in the communities in which they lived and worked. The associates of Keller Williams Premier Realty in Katy that that challenge to heart.
The medical community in Katy was just starting to boom with development of Memorial Hermann along the Grand Parkway, and the announcement that both Methodist Hospital and Texas Children’s Hospital would soon be building facilities along I-10. At the time, St. Lukes Hospital had also purchased a large tract of land along the Grand Parkway for a new hospital as well. We knew that people would be traveling to the area for their treatments and would need housing. It was a natural fit for a company that specialized in housing.
Cinco Charities, Inc. was birthed with the mission to provide temporary housing for patients and their families coming to the Katy area for treatment of serious, life threatening illnesses. During the first few years, while working towards the goal of building a hospitality house, Cinco Charities houses patients and their families in local hotels.
Funded almost entirely through the generosity of sponsors and friends that attended fundraising events, the Katy community had welcomed us with open arms. What’s more – they received and supported our mission whole-heartedly.
In 2011, Erin Ballard, a cancer patient herself, learned about Cinco Charities from local MD Anderson oncologist, Dr. Sunil Patel and was inspired to donate the use of one of her rental properties to Cinco Charities to expand their outreach. The home was re-freshed, re-furnished and re-decorated by Erin with the help of the Willow Fork Women’s Club and became known as ‘Erin’s House’, and quickly became loved by the families that got to call it home.
Erin’s husband, Monty Ballard, was equally moved by the mission of Cinco Charities and started The Ballard Foundation to advance Cinco Charities’ goal of building a hospital house in Katy. “We live in Katy, not far down the street from MD Anderson,” Ballard said, “We started thinking about people that live in other states who wanted the best treatment they could get and just couldn’t afford the other parts of the puzzle. They might have great insurance, but still couldn’t afford to come here to stay and get treatment. We thought we could make it possible for Cinco Charities to move forward.”
Two years later, in December of 2013, a huge crowd of supporters gathered to celebrate the grand opening of The Ballard House. The 20,000 square foot home sits on 3 acres in Cinco Ranch, next door to Creech Elementary and features 24 suites, a kitchen, dining room, living room, game room, community room, library and a chapel.
Only a few days later, the first five families moved in. They keep arriving… from other countries, all over the United States and the four corners of Texas. The Ballard House is now routinely at max capacity with a long wait list.
“We thought we could make it possible for Cinco Charities to move forward.”
In early 2019, we swung open the doors open to a 16 room expansion, bringing our total availability to 40 rooms, and adding an additional kitchen, living room, an on-site commercial laundry facility as well as an on-site managers apartment. None of which would have been possible without the support of The Ballard Foundation, the incredible support of the Katy community, our army of regular volunteers, and the incredible staff that get to call The Ballard House their office.