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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2017 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


 

June 17, 2016  RSS feed
Social Services

Text: T T T

Homecare Crisis for Holocaust Survivors

Last December, Mrs. P., a 73-year-old Holocaust survivor, suffered from a life changing stroke which took away her ability to stay at home alone safely. Her husband, had to leave his full time job which paid for their expenses and medical bills. Unfortunately, due to funding constraints within Gulf Coast JFCS ‘s Holocaust Survivor Program, we were unable to provide the necessary homecare assistance hours to meet her needs so that her husband can return to work.

Here in the greater Tampa Bay area (including Manatee & Sarasota counties), there are over 100 Gulf Coast JFCS clients who either receive or are waiting for homecare assistance services from the Holocaust Survivor Program. Currently, we provide 500 hours per week of homecare assistance, but we have an additional 700 hours per week of need. While the overall survivor population is dwindling, the remaining survivors are aging and need increasingly greater services. Each month, we get requests from at least two survivors who have never needed services in the past. We expect this to continue for the next five years.

It would cost approximately an additional $1 million annually to provide the full amount of services needed. In short, this is a homecare crisis. “Finding the dollars is difficult and the survivors have a small window to receive this precious care. We really need your help. As Jews, we have an obligation to do everything we can to help these survivors who have endured so much”, said Cindy Stern Minetti, Senior Director, Jewish Family Services.

For Holocaust survivors, the prospect of institutionalization may be horrifying as it reminds them of earlier memories of life experiences such as imprisonment, concentration camps, displacement, or government forces that were very often villainous. Living with malnutrition, torture and severe mental stress have had lasting effects. Approximately 30% of survivors live in poverty and cannot afford this basic help. Homecare services are provided to survivors who qualify based on needs, income and assets. Current funding for this program is provided by The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Florida Department of Financial Services, and private donations.

Please honor the Holocaust survivors with a financial contribution needed to provide more assistance at home. Every donation helps, large and small! How can your gift help the survivors?

• $5,000 provides 4 hours of homecare per week for one year plus related client case management

• $180 helps with 5 baths, laundry and light housekeeping

• $72 gives 3 hours of companionship and transportation to a doctor appointment

• $36 provides 2 hours of meal preparation

Today, Mrs. P. has 4 hours of weekly homecare assistance. Although it is far less than what is needed, she bravely pushes through adversity with grace. “Your donation to the Holocaust Survivor Program at Gulf Coast JFCS will allow us to better meet the critical needs of local Holocaust survivors and ensure they live their remaining years in comfort and dignity they so greatly deserve”, noted Debbie Tobin Cusick, Program Supervisor. “Your support will make them feel connected and cherished by the community. After all, they have taught the world the most valuable lessons about resilience, hope and compassion.”

Please send your donation to Gulf Coast JFCS – Holocaust Survivor Program, 14041 Icot Blvd., Clearwater, FL 33760 or go online to gcjfcs.org/donate and in the “notes” section, indicate Holocaust Survivor Program. Todah Rabah!


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