BUFFALO, N.Y. — After Cynthia Battista heard about a guesthouse her friend had used in another state, she immediately knew that was how she wanted to give back to her community. She went right to work on it, and four years later opened Grace Guest House.

"And I knew, that I knew, that the only way it was going to happen was by the grace of God," she said.

Only a mile from Mercy Hospital in South Buffalo, Grace Guest House gives family and friends who are visiting loved ones in the hospital a place to stay, one that feels like home.

"It was important for me to create the Guest House close to Mercy Hospital in Buffalo, this is my neighborhood, I live right down the street, Mercy Hospital is my hospital," Battista said.

And only six miles away is the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, where families also visit loved ones, and some guests have outpatient treatment. The guest house has eight bedrooms and six bathrooms and welcomes guests near and far.

"Folks have come from Ohio, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, of course right here in the Southern Tier," she said.

Linda Masters, who lives in Florida, needed to visit her brother that was having open heart surgery. When planning her trip to New York, she discovered Grace Guest House.

"So I thought, ‘I wish there was somewhere close to Mercy South,’ and I was just playing with the online site for Mercy South and up popped Grace House and I thought, ‘What's Grace House?’ And it's just perfect. It's lived up to its name," Masters said.

During her five-day stay, Masters could either walk to the hospital or take the shuttle provided by the guest house. And when it was time to check out, she didn't want to leave.

"It just — it felt like home, and it is home,” she said.