The emergency situation created by the Coronavirus crisis left thousands of people with special needs cut off from their daily routines and activities as well as from their close families and communities. Responding quickly to the new reality, SHEKEL urgently reorganized under near impossible conditions, and is working 24/7 to provide crucial services adapted to the dramatic changes in daily life and new health regulations. As a result, we now provide round-the-clock supervision and activity for hundreds of residents living in SHEKELCommunity Living apartments.
Under extremely difficult circumstances, SHEKEL is continuing to operate vital Day Centers that are critical for people on the autism spectrum, people with severe multiple disabilities and people who are aging with disabilities. The SHEKEL College enrichment program has converted its educational courses and activities such as sports, music and art to online courses and publications that have been distributed to thousands of people with special needs throughout the country, helping to diffuse anxiety and despondency, and creating focus on creativity and self-development. Meanwhile, SHEKEL’s Therapeutic Centers, known for their high-level professional treatment and counselling for people with disabilities and their families, have adapted their vital therapeutic services to assist people with special needs from afar while opening a national hotline for people with disabilities in distress and their families
Assisted community housing
SHEKEL’s community housing program constitutes Israel's most extensive community housing network for people with disabilities. Operating a broad range of housing options, that span more than 140 housing units, SHEKEL’s ‘living as part of the community’ housing program, serves over 400 residents with wide-ranging needs and abilities, from all sectors of Israeli society, including religious and secular Jews and Arabs.
All SHEKEL apartments are well maintained and located in the heart of the general community, in local Jerusalem neighbourhoods, both Jewish and Arab, in Israel’s central region and on kibbutzim. SHEKEL stresses inclusion and connection with the local community at all levels, including contact with neighbours and the local surroundings. Emphasis is put on quality of life, which includes provision of private space for each resident. Each SHEKEL apartment comprises a true home for its residents and all apartments are appropriately decorated as warm and welcoming homes. While most SHEKEL apartments are home to small groups of residents, SHEKEL also provides housing for couples and singles who live alone.
SHEKEL's community housing reflects SHEKEL’s resolute vision for inclusion within the general community and goes to great lengths to develop individual programs and conditions that allow for maximum personal growth and development. Parents of residents are full partners to the program and care provided and form an integral part of the SHEKEL family.
Supported independent living
As part of SHEKEL’s broad housing continuum, ‘supported housing’ is specially designed for people who wish to lead totally independent lives. The program includes ongoing supportive professional guidance and provides residents with the tools and life skills necessary for independent living.