Update on the complex challenges we're facing and how we're dealing with them.
Like the rest of Israel at this time, we at SHEKEL have begun operating in an emergency format. Some of our activities have been paused in accordance with the new guidelines, such as our extended school day program in special education schools, daycare programs, and some of our vocational employment programs. However, our Community Housing program for 400 residents in 150 apartments across Israel has transitioned to a round-the-clock activity program.
Obviously, many of our residents are in the high-risk categories for infection, and we are therefore very careful about the Health Ministry's guidelines. We provide daily guidance for the apartment residents on safeguarding hygiene and other special health routines to help protect them from contracting COV-19. Also, as instructed by the Social Welfare Ministry, apartment residents cannot visit family or receive guests. Therefore, while we safeguard their health, we take great pains in order to maintain a new activity itinerary in order to ensure the residents' sense of calm and security, while updating them on the current situation. Each apartment has a new daily routine based on guidelines from SHEKEL's psychologists, and their recommendations for dealing with emergencies. This includes creative solutions such as leisure and enrichment activities within the confines of the apartment. SHEKEL College's Leisure Activity Staff are currently implementing new daily activity for residents – each according to his or her level of functioning. For example, recreational competitions and contests are being held among the apartments' residents, as well as arts and crafts, media and technology activities etc. We are also exploring the option of transferring employment-oriented rehabilitational activity, in a limited scope, to the apartments themselves. In any event, residents are in constant phone contact with their families and friends beyond the apartment.
At the Toni Eliashar Therapeutic Center, there is of course a great demand for emotional treatments, though, in light of the current situation, people cannot physically attend therapy. Also, it is difficult for the Center's staff to reach the Center and function in full capacity. Therefore, we have prepared for long distance counseling, including expanded access to treatment beyond regular working hours.
This arrangement creates significant financial obligations beyond the Center's present budgetary means.
SHEKEL is classified as a critical operation and we must therefore continue with these special activities in order to look after the many people in our care. We work in full conjunction with the Social Welfare, Health, and Local Government authorities, and meet each day in order to discuss the new guidelines and plan activities accordingly.
Wishing everyone much health and a speedy return to routine life.