Alex is a 78-year-old man who made Aliyah from Ukraine, and who now lives in Nazareth. Alex turned to the Mobile Center for help in getting his severance pay; Alex had worked for a manpower company for the last six years, and needed the money he was owed to continue to live above the poverty line. Though he had turned to the insurance/pension company responsible for this on his own, after two months of little progress Alex began to lose hope of ever getting the money that was rightfully his. After hearing about YEDID from a friend, Alex approached the center while it was stationed in Karmiel.
A center volunteer filled out all of the required forms with Alex. She then contacted the pension company to understand why they were withholding Alex's severance pay, and to demand that they transfer the payment immediately. It turned out that Alex's employer had neglected to fill out a form one month, which had prevented them from releasing the payment. YEDID contacted the employer, who quickly sent the required document. During Alex's same visit to the center, the volunteer accompanied Alex to the local income tax offices to obtain an exemption from paying taxes on the severance pay he was going to receive. Finally, the company had all of the forms that they needed, and Alex received the NIS 33,000 he was owed.
The goal of YEDID's Mobile Citizen Rights and Health Center is to empower and strengthen residents like Alex 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 2014 through the end of January 2015, the Mobile Center provided 137 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 (30%), issues concerning public housing and mortgages (22%), and problems in accessing benefits and rights from the National Insurance Institute (Social Security) (19%). 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. Following Operation Protective Edge in July-August 2014, the Mobile Center spent a day outside Kiryat Malachi's Elderly Day Care Center, providing basic health examinations and medical referrals for all of the Center's inhabitants, most of whom had been unable to leave their houses for long periods of time. Thanks to a generous donation, we have hired 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!
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