Building a home for services in the Negev and Galilee
The Multi-Purpose Center for the Disabled, Dimona
Developing and operating housing, employment and therapetic care services in the periphery
Be'er Sheva Sheltered Employment Center
|The Need to Act|
In the geographic periphery, there is a dearth of services for populations with special needs (physical or mental disorders or handicaps), partly because of the relatively small and scattered population. This means that a regional solution which brings together members of special needs groups from several localities to one setting is the most appropriate strategy. The lack of services is particularly acute for the over-21 year olds, who leave the special education system and often have no next-stage framework where they can live with purpose and in dignity in the community.
Our main vehicle for reaching out to special needs populations is the Yahdav Association, working in Be'er Sheva and the South, which has developed into a major initiator and operator of excellent services for adults with physical and mental handicaps.
In addition, we support the work of a number of non-profit associations active in the periphery - notably the Kochav Hatzafon and Aleh associations - providing funding on top of that provided by the government or National Insurance Institute so that a good program or framework can become an excellent one, or can be replicated in a new locality. We are proud to partner in innovative solutions, such as the Ma'arag Center and the Bedouin Campus, both initiated by local organizations.
Our work on behalf of special needs groups emphasizes housing and vocational employment programs, so that young adults with special needs can achieve a level of independence, as well as upgrade of facilities in special education schools. In some cases, when considering the needs of those in high-dependency care, the best service can be created in a "home-for-life". Such a service is not necessarily situated within the community, for example, Aleh Negev, where Rashi is a partner in building superb facilities to provide round-the-clock care.
Ensuring the Existence of a Home
Construction and renovation of the physical premises to house community services is too often beyond the budgetary capability of local government. Out of a sense of urgency and of filling a vacuum, the Rashi Foundation has therefore developed an expertise in creating the physical conditions for vital services. Deviating from our normal mode of action, we occasionally purchase a property in order to customize it to special needs residents, and to ensure that disabled people gain a long-term, reliable home and will not need to be moved around.