Over 800 homeless people living in Israel

Homeless woman: I can't find a job because of the stigma.

By HAYAH GOLDLIST-EICHLER
July 28, 2015 16:19
2 minute read.
Homeless Israel

Homeless person on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Between 800 and 900 people live in the streets across the country, according to statistics brought by the Welfare and Social Services Ministry to a Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee meeting on Tuesday.

A representative from Elem, an organization that assists at-risk youth, disputed the ministry’s statistics, stating that in fact the numbers are much higher and the problem more widespread.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Maria Podgaezky, the Welfare and Social Services Ministry’s national inspector for homeless people, presented current facts from the ministry, saying that of the 800 to 900 people living on the streets, 450 of them receive services and treatment by the municipal units, but continue living on the streets.

Of those living on the streets, 65 percent suffer from alcohol and/or drug addiction, 23% are mentally ill, and 35% suffer from physical illnesses, according to Podgaezky.

The largest population of homeless people is in Tel Aviv, followed by Jerusalem, Haifa and Ashdod. Fifty-five percent of the homeless are from the Former Soviet Union.

The ministry has 16 units operating to assist homeless people in different cities and eight units that provide night-time shelter.

MK Zehava Gal-on (Meretz), who called for the meeting, protested along with other MKs present the monthly stipend of NIS 1,000 given to homeless people to assist them in their search for a home.



“With this sum one could maybe [afford to] live in the gutter,” said Gal-on.

Committee chairman Eli Alalouf (Kulanu) added that “it’s enough with these games. People living on the streets need a roof and not limited benefits.”

A number of homeless people were present at the meeting and spoke about their situation. One 19-year old woman from Jerusalem, Atara Sheffer, spoke about escaping an abusive home at the age of 13 and living on the streets until she was 18.

“Currently I am living at a homeless shelter run by the Elem organization, which is open from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. because of budgetary problems, and the rest of the time we are thrown into the streets, and we have nowhere to eat, to rest, or to shower. I want to do national service and find a job, but they won’t accept me because of the stigma of being homeless,” Sheffer told the committee.

MK Merav Ben-Ari (Kulanu) noted that there is a lack of adequate solutions for homeless people between the ages of 18 to 26, to which Alalouf promised to discuss in follow-up meetings possible solutions such as additional bud - get for shelters.

Related Content

Miki Zohar
July 17, 2018
Reality TV song contest gets heated when MK's son competes

By AMY SPIRO