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First two of SHEKEL's Independent Living Program move into regular apartments

For the first time, tenants who were once in protected housing frameworks move into their own apartments.
First two of SHEKEL's Independent Living Program move into regular apartments (Enlarge)

Menachem, in his early 30s, was born with an organic disorder that impairs his daily functioning. Despite his disability, Menachem volunteered in the Israel Defense Forces and today works in the Jerusalem Municipality. For many years he dreamed of moving into a regular apartment, and now finally SHEKEL is helping him fulfill his dream.


Dudu, 29, has an intellectual and developmental disability. He works in a semi-independent job as a gardener's assistant. Until now, he lived in a protected group housing framework with close supervision.


Thanks to SHEKEL's Independent Living program, funded by the Disabilities Foundation (a joint project of JDC Israel, the Ministry of Social Welfare, the National Insurance Institute, and the Ruderman Foundation), Menachem and Dudu are now renting standard apartments they chose, and from now on they will live completely independently instead of in a shared framework.


SHEKEL's Independent Living program operates in Jerusalem, Petah Tikva, Bnei Brak, and Elad. The program's objective is to find solutions for people who live in shared housing or with their parents, who are interested in independent living. The program provides professional support and skills to enable the tenant's independence. A counselor visits as needed, in order to improve the tenants' independent functioning and help them reach their rehabilitation goals. In addition, guidance counseling is provided by SHEKEL's Rehabilitation Psychologist.


Besides Menachem and Dudu, currently in SHEKEL's Independent Living Program there are two people on the autism spectrum, as well as another four people with physical disabilities. In the Central Israel region, the program includes seven people with various disabilities, some from the Haredi sector, and even one married couple. We hope additional participants will be able to move into fully-independent homes in the near future. SHEKEL continues to receive new requests to join the program.

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