House of Hope Society opens Headquarters and Hospice
December 4, 2009

House of Hope Society opens Headquarters and Hospice

Eleven years after its conceptualization, the House of Hope Society officially opened its Headquarters and Hospice on Saturday, November 28, 2009, at Stoney Ground.{{more}}

Back in 1998, both Reverend Dr. Sylvanus Regisford and Archdeacon Charles Adams, co-founders of the society, agreed that the church needed to respond to the AIDS pandemic as people were dying alone and families were being rejected because of their HIV/AIDS status.

The organization was set up with the aim of helping HIV/AIDS victims as well as other terminally ill patients. Speaking at the opening ceremony, president of the society Reverend Regisford mentioned the two objectives of the society. “We are concerned not only with helping caregivers but we are also concerned with wellness education,” he said.

Regisford added that all churches must join the cause if the hospice service is to be successful in reviving the concept of neighbour helping neighbour. He said that by working together they can support each other in tough times.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Lanceford Weekes commended the House of Hope on their service. Weekes stated that the ministry on its own cannot provide all the health care needed for persons in the country. He said that one way in which they can provide more health care is by partnering with organizations such as the House of Hope.

Weekes related that the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS has prevented some HIV positive persons from coming forward to receive treatment. He added that the ministry is planning to integrate HIV/AIDS control and prevention into the general function of clinics so that HIV/AIDS patients can access treatment like any other patient.

Also making comments during the ceremony, Kenneth Douglas of the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) advised the society to advertise itself more in order to attract funding. The BNTF assisted with the provision of $36,000 worth of furniture, appliances and medical equipment for the House of Hope headquarters.

A minute’s silence was observed in honour of deceased Board members Arthur Connel and Marcia Regisford.

The ceremony was also attended by Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne and members of the Board of Directors and included a blessing of the building by Archdeacon Adams. The Hospice and Headquarters has a thrift shop, a small ward with two beds, bathroom, kitchen and an office.

The building was officially opened with the cutting of the ribbon done by former Board member Clare Keizer in memory of her father Clarence Keizer and her good friend, former Chairperson of the society’s fundraising committee Marcia Regisford, who died one year ago. (OS)