Bring Health Care to 4000 Needy People in Israel

 
$14,648
$33,352
Raised
Remaining
Oct 28, 2014

Progress Report on YEDID's Mobile Center

Getting ready for another day of change making!
Getting ready for another day of change making!
Sara is in her early 40s. The single mother of two grown children - one of whom is a soldier - Sara has struggled to make ends meet for most of her adult life; she has a disability which prevents her from finding stable employment, and subsists entirely off of a monthly NIS 2600 ($680) disability benefit. Over the past year, Sara has been disconnected from her supply of natural gas. The reason? She had an outstanding debt of NIS 700 ($185) to the gas company. Perpetually perched on the edge of poverty, Sara wasn't able to pay the debt in full, let alone find the money for the gas line reattachment fee. With nowhere to cook for herself, Sara turned to cheap junk food alternatives, and her health rapidly deteriorated.  
Over the course of the year, Sara repeatedly petitioned the Amisragas gas company, requesting that her debt be spread out over a number of installments, and that she be allowed to pay with vouchers, as she had no credit card or checkbook with which to make payments. Her request was repeatedly denied, and Sara began to lose hope. A chance meeting with an acquaintance at the supermarket led her to YEDID. After hearing Sara's story, a Mobile Center volunteer immediately contacted the head office of Amisragas. The volunteer submitted a number of documents detailing Sara's economic predicament, and demanded that Sara's request for instaled payments be accepted. Within days of receiving the volunteer's letter, the head office approved Sara's request. She was a given vouchers to use on the 28th of each month to pay for gas, and was reconnected to the gas line for free. Thanks to YEDID, Sara can go back to cooking for herself and get her health back on track.

The goal of YEDID's Mobile Citizen Rights and Health Center is to empower and strengthen residents like Sara of Israel's socioeconomic and geographic peripheries in the areas of health and social rights. The Center's objectives are to help clients navigate the national health system; to provide preventative medical services; and to supply information about legal rights and social benefits in the area of health care and other areas (such as housing and National Insurance, to name just two).

From the beginning of August 2014 through the beginning of November 2014, the Mobile Center provided 144 clients with rights counseling. The most prevalent subjects for which people turned to the center for non-health related issues during this period were matters related to debt and repossessions (28%), issues concerning public housing and mortgages (18%), and problems in accessing benefits and rights from the National Insurance Institute (Social Security) (10%). Clients served included immigrants and veteran Israelis, Arabs and Jews.

The Mobile Center's plans for the coming months are to increase the number of Health Days it runs for senior citizens age 60 and up, to recruit more volunteers with specific skills such as fluency in Arabic and Russian, and professional experience in relevant fields. Thanks to a generous donation, we will soon be able to hire an additonal part-time case manager for the Mobile Center. This will allow the center's staff and volunteers to more efficiently handle the packed caseload, especially on days in which the center both receives clients and simultaneously runs health days. Checking with Irina if this came to pass yet. 

On behalf of YEDID's staff, volunteers, and clients, I thank our supporters for their partnership. The immediate and essential assistance that the center provides to individuals across the country could never happen without your help. Thank you so much!

Jul 30, 2014

Progress Report on YEDID's Mobile Center

After retiring in May 2014, Katya was astounded to discover that she wasn't receiving her old-age benefit; without this benefit, she was afraid that she wouldn't be able to pay her rent, and would find herself, at 68, homeless. Katya immediately turned to Israel's National Insurance Institute (NII), and demanded an explanation as to why she wasn't receiving her old-age benefit. A service representative explained that in all her years of employment, Katya had not worked the minimal amount of months (144) that would make her eligible to receive her old age benefit; upon further investigation, it turned out that she had worked the required amount of months, but that one of her former employers had neglected to report that Katya had worked for him. In order to receive the benefit, Katya would have to gather ten years' worth of pay stubs (66)! Though she was entitled to these pay stubs by right, when Katya went to her former employer to ask for them, he rudely turned her away, and refused to help her.

It was at this point that Katya turned to YEDID's Mobile Center. Although she only had her final paystub from her unpleasant former employer, the pay stub noted the date that Katya had started to work there, and YEDID staff concluded that this was enough information to take action. A YEDID staff member approached the Department of Insurance Continuity at the NII with a letter detailing the sequence of events, and asked the department to update their registrations. Within a week, YEDID was informed that Katya's insurance continuity had been fixed, and that she would begin to receive her old-age benefit. In numbers, this means that over the next 20 years, Katya will receive NIS 30,620. Thanks to YEDID, Katya can enjoy her retirement without the fear of losing the roof over her head.

The goal of YEDID's Mobile Citizen Rights and Health Center is to empower and strengthen residents like Katya of Israel's socioeconomic and geographic peripheries in the areas of health and social rights. The Center's objectives are to help clients navigate the national health system; to provide preventative medical services; and to supply information about legal rights and social benefits in the area of health care and other areas (such as housing and National Insurance, to name just two). Unfortunately, due to the ongoing conflict in Gaza, all of the health days that were planned in the south have been postponed until further notice. 

From the beginning of May 2014 through the beginning of August 2014, the Mobile Center provided 131 clients with rights counseling. The most prevalent subjects for which people turned to the center for non-health related issues during this period were matters related to debt and repossessions (31%), issues concerning public housing and mortgages (20%), and problems in accessing benefits and rights from the National Insurance Institute (Social Security) (15%). Clients served included immigrants and veteran Israelis, Arabs and Jews.

The Mobile Center's plans for the coming months are to continue running Health Days, to recruit more volunteers with specific skills such as fluency in Arabic and Russian, and professional experience in relevant fields. Thanks to a generous donation, we will be able to hire an additonal part-time case manager for the Mobile Center. This will allow the center's staff and volunteers to more efficiently handle the packed caseload, especially on days in which the center both receives clients and simultaneously runs health days.

On behalf of YEDID's staff, volunteers, and clients, I thank our supporters for their partnership. The immediate and essential assistance that the center provides to individuals across the country could never happen without your help. Thank you so much!

 

Apr 30, 2014

Progress Report on YEDID's Mobile Center

Elena arrived at our Mobile Citizen Rights and Health Center when it was stationed in Haifa. She came from a difficult background; though she was only 24, she was already divorced and a mother of a five-year-old daughter. In the not-so-distant past she had undergone physical abuse, which left her with chronic health problems. Her family had cut ties with her, and, as Elena told the center’s volunteer, she was on the brink of collapse.

Elena wanted to give herself and her daughter a clean start. She had come to our Mobile Center from Kiryat Shmona, Israel's northernmost city, hoping that we could help her get public housing. In the past, she had applied for eligibility for public housing, but had been denied due to the fact only families with three or more children who have been living on welfare benefits for a 24 month period are eligible for public housing. “I’m willing to move anywhere in Israel to get public housing,” she said, “I really need this to help me get back on my feet.” The staff at our Mobile Center prepared the necessary paperwork, and sent it to the public housing office near Haifa in Kiryat Bialik.

The request was denied, for the same reason as Elena’s previous request, on the grounds of ineligibility. Nevertheless, our staff persevered, and went in person to the housing offices to reason with the officials there. After two months of negotiations, Elena was notified that she was being granted a two-room apartment in a public housing complex near Haifa. “I’m so grateful to YEDID for all of their help,” Elena writes. “Finally, I can start getting my life back on track.”

The goal of YEDID's Mobile Citizen Rights and Health Center is to empower and strengthen residents like Elena of Israel's socioeconomic and geographic peripheries in the areas of health and social rights. The Center's objectives are to help clients navigate the national health system; to provide preventative medical services; and to supply information about legal rights and social benefits in the area of health care and other areas (such as housing and National Insurance, to name just two).

From the beginning of November 2013 through the beginning of February 2014, the Mobile Center provided 120 clients with rights counseling. The most prevalent subjects for which people turned to the center for non-health related issues during this period were issues concerning public housing and mortgages (32%), matters related to debt and repossessions (26%), and labor law problems (15%). Clients served included immigrants and veteran Israelis, Arabs and Jews.

The Mobile Center's plans for the coming months are to continue running Health Days, to recruit more volunteers with specific skills such as fluency in Arabic and Russian, and professional experience in relevant fields. Thanks to a generous donation, we will be able to increase the Mobile Center's operation from three to six times a week in the near future! An increase in days will allow us to access and assist more clients in Israel's underserved peripheries.

On behalf of YEDID's staff, volunteers, and clients, I thank our supporters for their partnership. The immediate and essential assistance that the center provides to individuals across the country could never happen without your help. Thank you so much!

Feb 6, 2014

Progress Report on YEDID's Mobile Center

The goal of YEDID's Mobile Citizen Rights and Health Center is to empower and strengthen residents of Israel's socioeconomic and geographic peripheries in the areas of health and social rights. The Center's objectives are to help its clients navigate the national health system; to provide preventative medical services; and to supply information about legal rights and social benefits in the area of health care and other areas (such as housing and National Insurance, to name just two).

From the beginning of November 2013 through the beginning of February 2014, the Mobile Center provided 127 clients with rights counseling. The most prevalent subjects for which people turned to the center for non-health related issues during this period were matters related to debt and repossessions (42%), issues concerning public housing (20%) and mortgages, and problems with the National Insurance Institute (12%). Clients served included immigrants and veteran Israelis, Arabs and Jews. The following story provides a recent example of YEDID's work.

Alex, a new immigrant from Russia, came to the Mobile Center while it was stationed in Carmiel; he was homeless, with no job or any sort of income. He spent every day wandering aimlessly around town, and spent each night at a different friend's house. This went on for five years. 

Alex didn't understand Hebrew, and had no knowledge of his rights. A number of years ago he approached Welfare Services in Carmiel to try and better his situation. However, due to difficulties in communicating with him, Welfare Services dropped Alex's case, and Alex was left frustrated and despondent. However, when a friend told Alex about YEDID, he decided to approach us for assistance. We began by going with Alex to the Employment Bureau and helped him register there. At the same time, we accompanied him to the offices of the National Insurance Institute, the  to apply for income support. Alex had to go through a complex bureaucratic process, and bring many certifications and affidavits, as a result of having an apartment under his name from the time of his marriage - we accompanied him and aided him throughout the entire process.

In a short amount of time, the application for income support was approved, and Alex began to receive his stipend on a regular basis. After years of wandering, Alex has begun to feel a sense of permanence. Today, Alex rents an apartment on his own, and is looking into Ulpan programs to learn Hebrew. Now that his financial situation has become more stable, he feels less pressured, and has even started talking to his friends about jobs that he's interested in. 

The Mobile Center's plans for the coming months are to continue running Health Days, to recruit more volunteers with specific skills such as fluency in Arabic and Russian, and professional experience in relevant fields. Thanks to a generous donation, we are planning to increase the Mobile Center's operation from three to six times a week! An increase in days will allow us to access and assist more clients in Israel's underserved peripheries. 

On behalf of YEDID's staff, volunteers, and clients, I thank our supporters for their partnership. The immediate and essential assistance that the center provides to individuals across the country could never happen without your help. Thank you so much!

 

Nov 7, 2013

Progress Report on YEDID's Mobile Center

The goal of YEDID's Mobile Citizen Rights and Health Center is to empower and strengthen residents of Israel's socioeconomic and geographic peripheries in the areas of health and social rights. The Center's objectives are to help its clients navigate the national health system; to provide preventative medical services; and to supply information about legal rights and social benefits in the area of health care and other areas (such as housing and National Insurance, to name just two).

From the beginning of August through the end of October, 2013, the Mobile Center ran one Health Days in Haifa, serving a total of 20 clients. The Center also provided an additional 139 clients with rights counseling. The most prevalent subjects for which people turned to the center for non-health related issues during this period were matters related to debt and repossessions, issues concerning public housing and mortgages, and problems with the National Insurance Institute. Clients served included immigrants and veteran Israelis, Arabs and Jews. The following story provides a recent example of YEDID's work.

In August, when the Mobile Center was in Nazareth, a middle aged man named Sami arrived on referral from a social worker from the city's welfare office. Sami has no family, does not speak, read or write Hebrew, and depends on welfare benefits and rental assistance.

Sami's absence of Hebrew skills and his lack of knowledge about his social rights had exacerbated his already difficult financial situation. He had debts that had been turned over to the National Agency for Debt Collection, totaling an astounding NIS 75,000. On top of this, because Sami was not clear about the procedure by which he was to make his debt repayments, he had made a fundamental procedural error (about which he was totally unaware), which had resulted in the seizing of funds from his account.

With the help of a translator, YEDID's Mobile Center director, Irena, asked Sami to bring all the relevant documents and bank statements he had so that she could request that the National Agency for Debt Collection consolidate his files and declare him as a person of limited financial means.

Incidentally, when Irena reviewed Sami's bank statements, she noticed that he had not received rental assistance for three months. Sami had not realized this because he did not know how to monitor his bank account. Irena contacted the housing offices responsible for providing rental assistance, and the clerks there admitted that the mistake had been theirs. They fixed the error and immediately transferred three months worth of retroactive rental assistance to Sami's account.

A few weeks later, Irena received a response from the National Agency for Debt Collection stating that Sami had been declared a person of limited means and that they had reduced his monthly debt repayments. Irena met with Sami again and taught him how to properly manage his payments to the Agency so that his file does not get out of control, and also how to monitor his bank account to make sure that everything is going as it should.

Sami now has more manageable debt repayments, and is empowered by the financial literacy that he acquired to exercise more control over his bank account.

On behalf of YEDID's staff, volunteers, and clients, I thank our supporters for their partnership. The immediate and essential assistance that the center provides to individuals across the country could never happen without your help. Thank you so much!

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.

donate now:

An anonymous donor is matching all new monthly recurring donations. Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $10
    give
  • $18
    give
  • $25
    give
  • $60
    give
  • $150
    give
  • $500
    give
  • $1,000
    give
  • $3,000
    give
  • $10
    each month
    give
  • $18
    each month
    give
  • $25
    each month
    give
  • $60
    each month
    give
  • $150
    each month
    give
  • $500
    each month
    give
  • $1,000
    each month
    give
  • $3,000
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Where is this project located?

Map of Bring Health Care to 4000 Needy People in Israel