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New Hōhepa Homes Responding To Need

Hohepa Canterbury is facing growing demand for their services and they have a waiting list of people with an intellectual disability looking for a place to call home. After careful consideration, they decided last year to embark on a journey to build two new homes on their Barrington street campus to offer more opportunity for those in need to experience fulfilling lives as part of their very special community.

Demand for Hohepa’s services is high because they are recognised for valuing the individuality of each person they support and their unique philosophy of care, anthroposophy. They seek to empower youth and adults with an intellectual disability and/or autism to live their best lives with as much independence as possible. Hohepa operates a holistic community-based structure on their campuses that supports each individual’s body, mind and soul. In this, they offer extensive therapies and activities programmes so those they support can learn new skills and achieve their personal goals and aspirations. Hohepa has been supporting people with intellectual disabilities with their exceptional care since 1965, and from their Barrington street site since 1967; their aim is to continue to provide this care for those in need now, and long into the future.

Hohepa staff member and Nela

General Manager, Arnah Trelease, says “for the people we support, Hohepa is home. It is where they feel safe to build a vision for their life and are empowered to make it happen. We had to respond to the ever-increasing need for our services and our new homes project will ensure that happens.”

Hohepa is committed to providing people with inspiring and fit-for-purpose housing so they live in an environment that supports and adapts to their unique needs and ambitions over their lifetime. This is why the designs of their new homes have been informed by the people they currently support. “These homes will do more than provide a physical home for people with intellectual disabilities. They will be safe, beautiful and peaceful places for people to settle, grow, and live full lives within a supportive community,” says Arnah. The buildings have been designed to be light, creative, and thoughtful. They will encourage a sense of ownership and pride for the people we support and in our wider community.”

Construction of the two new homes is set to commence in December and the Hohepa community is eagerly awaiting the build. To support the project, Hohepa has been actively fundraising for the past year and thanks to generous support from The Sutherland Self Help Trust, the Lamar Trust and many other donors, they have now secured over half of their $2.2M campaign target.

Hohepa is now looking to close the gap in their fundraising to realise this much-need project so they have developed a new website to enable the wider community to be part of seeing it coming to fruition. “We strongly value the support the local community has always shown us. We are thrilled our new homes will stand proudly at the entrance of the Barrington Street campus so we can more strongly connect with those around us,” says Arnah. “Our new website has been developed to give people an opportunity to support Hohepa in a really tangible way by helping us to fit-out our new homes,” she adds.

The new website – donations.hohepacanterbury.com – invites people to give towards the specialised fit-out of the new homes to equip them with the essential items that will ensure those who will reside in them can fully live their lives. These items, such as coffee mugs, duvets, desks, fridges, comfort blankets, and mobility aids, will ensure life is easy, functional, comfortable and enjoyable for the people they support.

They have also included a series videos on the website from some of the people they support who have shared what the new development means to them. One of those videos is from Zane; he said “I feel it’s good to build new homes for people with disabilities so we can bring them in and we can help them. Building new homes is going to be a really great thing.”

Zane with Kieran

The new homes are set to be completed by June 2021 and Hohepa is hopeful the wider community will rally around them to help raise the remaining funds needed to complete the project. “It is vital the homes are built and fitted out so people with an intellectual disability who need a home and are currently on our waiting list can be welcomed into Hohepa,” says Arnah. “This project means a lot to our community and we know that it is special to the wider community too.”

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