Moving into your first apartment is a big step towards adulthood and independence for everyone. For people with disabilities, though, the transition comes with an entire second set of concerns—many of these people relied on their parents or an institution helping them with daily tasks. Independent living means taking on all those responsibilities, possibly for the first time. JDC created Supported Housing to ease this move, and help people with disabilities get to experience independent living when they are ready.
Supported Housing is there every step of the way. Staff members meet with participants for skills training and mentoring, as well as information on local services. Each Supported Housing location provides participants access to 24-hour emergency services, run by local partners, which can easily arrange doctor’s visits, ambulance pick ups and place calls to the police and fire departments. Maybe most importantly, staff in each Supported Housing location organize social activities like bowling nights, holiday parties or movie outings to create a sense of community amongst these first-time renters.
Everyone should get to experience adult life on their own, enjoying the freedoms and independence that come with it. With Supported Housing, people with disabilities get that opportunity while maintaining a network of support. Supported Housing prepares persons with disabilities and their parents for the transition and provides assistance finding housing, adapting the housing in accordance with their rights, individual mentoring, and independent living skills training. After the transition stage, regular support is provided according to disability type and complexity, through a basket of individual and community services including an emergency call center, low-cost emergency medical services, a community coordinator for repairs and guidance, a social worker to liaise among the services, social activities, and more.
For questions, contact Efrat Stern at EfratS@jdc.org.
In Hebrew, AKIM is an acronym for the “association for the rehabilitation of the intellectually disabled.” Founded in 1951, AKIM is a national organization caring for people with disabilities and their families. Today, it’s Israel’s largest and most comprehensive provider of programs and services for the intellectually disabled population— regardless of their faith, ethnic background or sex—serving 34,000 children, teenagers, adults, and senior citizens, as well as 130,000 family members.1
Kivunim is a non-profit organization that was founded to promote youth with special needs by encouraging them to become independent, get involved in their community, and to gain control over their lives. The organization was founded by graduates of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership and other friends, working in cooperation with governmental and private agencies and academic institutions.2
Shekel is Israel's leading organization for integrating people with special needs in the community. The organization, founded in 1979, now includes over 550 employees and 700 volunteers assisting more than 8,000 people with disabilities across every sector in Israel. Shekel's vision is to develop professional community services for every person with a disability in order to enable independent functioning at home, work, and during leisure and social activities.3