The facility, which can house up to 90 seniors, is impressive in its own right.
It’s a four-story building complete with its own clinic, physical therapists, psychologists, nutritionists, and house parents who look over the senior citizens around the clock.
There are also common areas like the dining room and roof deck, where seniors can relax and socialize amongst themselves.
Moreover, the look of the house, which reflects a traditional Filipino design with its wooden furniture, is meant to help new residents feel more at home.
“We really wanted it to look warm and comforting because, for some of them, this might be the last place they call home,” Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian told ANCX. “We didn’t want their last years with us [to be depressing]. And after all the hardships and mental anguish caused by being out in the street, they only deserve a nice place to come home to.”
He also detailed that many of the individuals staying in the facility were from outside of the city. “We found them on national highways, like they intended to get lost. Others don’t even know how to speak in Tagalog,” he said.
Gatchalian announced the move-in of 77 residents on his social media channels, showing off a row of clean beds in one of the bedrooms and the exercise area.
He captioned the post, “[First] time they’re using the exercise area of Bahay Kanlungan…para maarawan sila. Of course we have house parents supervising them to avoid any injuries…our senior seem to like it…”
([First] time they’re using the exercise area of Bahay Kanlungan…so they get some sun. Of course we have house parents supervising them to avoid any injuries…our senior seem to like it…)
Bahay Kanlungan is Valenzuela’s third public house facility, along with Bahay Kalinga, a home for neglected and abused children, and Bahay Pag-asa, a “child-caring institution for children in conflict with the law.”