Justice & compassion at the heart of HBH Senior Living
Caring for older people in the Howick community – including the vulnerable and marginalised – has always been an integral part of HBH Senior Living’s mission. And the recent purchase of Stevenson Village means that even more older people will have the security of good care and a roof over their head, says CEO Bonnie Robinson.
Formerly called Howick Baptist Healthcare, HBH Senior Living was founded by the local Baptist congregation in 1977 and retains strong links to neighbouring churches. Motivated by the compassion, love and justice demonstrated in the life of Jesus Christ, HBH Senior Living’s mission is to meet the needs of vulnerable older people through care services that are excellent, compassionate and responsive.
Initially this was achieved through the establishment of a rest home and hospital and over time, has grown to include community services, independent apartments and HBH Senior Living’s much-loved day programme. Today, HBH is recognised as a model of excellence in senior care and living.
In 2017, an opportunity to act further for older people in the local community presented itself when Stevenson Village, a 36-unit social housing village, was put up for tender.
“The village was founded in 1974 by the then mayor, Sir William Stevenson and the RSA, and has provided a unique and valuable service to the community for over 40 years. We feared that in the current housing climate, if we didn’t purchase it, it would be commercially developed and lost forever,” says Bonnie Robinson, HBH Senior Living CEO.
Since ownership has moved to HBH Senior Living, the tenants at Stevenson Village have remained in their units and now have access to support services and activities.
Acting for older people, not for profit.
The purchase of Stevenson Village was driven by a desire to protect the homes of the existing tenants and a growing awareness of the escalating need for affordable social house for older people.
As a not-for-profit organisation, Bonnie says HBH Senior Living is trying to challenge the view that older people are just a commodity or source of profit.
“We believe that everyone deserves a roof over their head: it’s a basic necessity of life. Our mission is to provide older people with faith-based care services and buying Stevenson Village means we can continue to put caring first, every day and in every way.”