New Hōhepa homes responding to growing demand in Canterbury

A plan of a new Hōhepa home to be constructed in Barrington St which will help empower youth and...
A plan of a new Hōhepa home to be constructed in Barrington St which will help empower youth and adults with an intellectual disability. Photo: Supplied
Hōhepa 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 St campus to offer more opportunity for those in need to experience fulfilling lives as part of their very special community.

Demand for Hōhepa’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.

Hōhepa 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.

Hōhepa has been supporting people with intellectual disabilities with their exceptional care since 1965, and from their Barrington St site since 1967; their aim is to continue to provide this care for those in need now, and long into the future.

Said general manager, Arnah Trelease: “For the people we support, Hōhepa 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.”

“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,”  Trelease said.

“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.”

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Construction of the two new homes is set to start in December.

To support the project, Hōhepa 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 $2.2 million campaign target.

Hōhepa 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.

The new website – – 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.

Said Trelease: “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 Hōhepa.

“This project means a lot to our community and we know that it is special to the wider community too.”






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