WHILE many are living under the impression that compassion is already a thing of the past, Cainta has proven pessimists wrong.
In fact, there exists a sanctuary of compassion and care located at the center of the municipality which lies at the immediate outskirts of Metro Manila.
Known as One Cainta Sunset Retreat, the unique facility, located at Greenland Subdivision is dedicated to providing a warm and loving home for unattached, neglected, vagrant, and homeless senior citizens from the locality.
“At One Cainta Sunset Retreat, the elderly find peace, companionship, and a renewed sense of purpose in their golden years,” said Mayor Elen Nieto, even as she cited the need for the local government to literally take care of the vulnerable sectors.
“We are public servants and as such, we should genuinely serve. Tutulong na lang din naman tayo, isagad na natin,” she added.
According to Mayor Nieto, the facility which started operation only in March this year was founded with a mission of ensuring that no senior citizen within the municipality of Cainta is left unattended or neglected during their final years.
“We envision total human development for our elderly residents, fostering an environment where they can age gracefully with dignity, respect, and love.”
Not just for the Elderly
However, what was originally designed to exclusively cater to the homeless elderly has expanded to other vulnerable sectors – including those who have no place to sleep, freshen up, and have a decent meal.
“At One Cainta Sunset Retreat, compassionate care is our guiding principle. Our dedicated staff members and caregivers are trained to provide round-the-clock support, ensuring the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of our residents," averred the mayor even as she finds it imperative for all LGUs to provide the homeless with a facility designed to resemble a cozy home rather than an institution.
Aside from comfortable living spaces, One Cainta Sunset Retreat offers nutritious meals, and recreational activities to keep their “boarders” engaged and content – “The safety and security of our residents are paramount, with modern amenities and medical services readily available.”
More Than Facility
One Cainta Sunset Retreat is more than just a care facility, it is a community, reads a part of a prose posted on the LGU’s official website.
The facility also embarks on a program sparking social interaction, fostering friendships and emotional bonds that combat the loneliness and isolation often experienced by the elderly.
One Cainta Sunset Retreat also holds regular events and activities to ensure that “boarders” remain active and engaged in a vibrant community.
“We want our facility to be a beacon of hope for senior citizens who have been marginalized by society. We aim to change the narrative around aging, proving that the elderly deserve love, care, and respect, regardless of their circumstances. Our commitment to nurturing the total human development of our residents reflects Cainta's values of compassion and community.
According to the local government, One Cainta Sunset Retreat welcomes support from individuals, organizations, and private institutions alike – whether through sharing your time through volunteerism, making donations, or simply spreading awareness.
“One Cainta Sunset Retreat is not just a home for the aged. It is a testament to the power of compassion and community which truly exists In the heart of every Cainteño.”
“We are dedicated to ensuring that every senior citizen in Cainta is given the opportunity to live out their sunset years with grace and dignity. Together, we can make a difference and create a brighter, more inclusive future for our beloved elderly citizens.”
Admission Before Sunset
“Sa kutson tayo matutulog ngayong gabi,” are the exact words of mid-aged vagrants as the clock struck 4:00 in the afternoon.
When asked where they intend to spend the night, one of them candidly said – “Dun kami sa Sunset Retreat. Pero kailangan bago mas alas singko y medya andun na kami.”
Upon checking with the local government, no less than Municipal Administrator Atty. Johnielle Nieto admitted that the facility has also been accepting “palaboys” for walk-ins.
“Tumatanggap po tayo ng mga walk-in mula alas-singko ng hapon – sila yung mga palaboy sa lansangan at yung mga kailangan ng tutulugan dahil sa iba’t ibang dahilan. Papakainin pa rin natin sila, paliliguin, pagagamitin ng comfort rooms at patutulugin nang libre sa shelter natin.”
“Maliban sa palikuran, mayroon rin itong lounge at telebisyon. Bibigyan rin ang mga boarder ng sabon, shampoo, sipilyo, toothpaste, damit, at hapunan.”
Nieto said that the Sunset Retreat facility is open to those in need of a place to stay, to clean up, to eat, and to sleep, instead of living on benches, sidewalks, or elsewhere.
The Nightwatch Team has also been regularly doing rounds to fetch the homeless.
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