The Abarbanel state psychiatric hospital has closed a hostel in Jaffa where
recovering patients have been staying for the final stages of their
Tel Aviv University School of Social Work students and
lecturers involved in the fight to get the facility reopened said the Health
Ministry had given only the excuse that the hostel was in poor physical
The students said Tuesday they feared that the ministry was
primarily interested in selling the property because of its high real estate
The ministry issued a statement that the “Jaffa hostel is a
dangerous structure, thus the residents had to be evacuated in an unplanned way.
Ten residents remain there. One is going to independent housing, while the
others are going to protected housing facilities, each according to his needs,
on May 1.”
But the protesters from the Shapell School of Social Work said
the facility, which has existed for over 25 years, has been a solution for the
transition period of recovering psychiatric patients, including people who were
homeless or suicidal, or who were hospitalized and needed social support and
professional guidance before returning to the community.
the building. Almost a year ago, the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipal engineer
said it needed renovation, but that this could be done while residents were
living there. Although residents signed a new rental contract last February that
would be in effect until March 2013, the management decided to evacuate the
building with no commitment to reopen it, the activists said.
that moving residents out against their will and sending them elsewhere would
hurt their rehabilitation.
Dr. Amir Fuchs-Paz of TAU’s law clinic wrote
to hospital director Dr. Yehuda Baruch, saying the activists had learned that
management wanted to send the residents away and did not intend to let them
return after renovations.
Fuchs-Paz said he had been told that “the
renovations will take a long time.”
The activists said they had been told
that professionals working with the recovering patients were being
The TAU lawyer filed a plea in the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court
for an urgent order, in the name of residents, to prevent their
Joining the activists in supporting this cause was Prof. Idit
Weiss-Gal, head of the bachelor’s degree program for social workers, the
voluntary organization Yedid and a social work organization.