Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty held its Winter 2013 Conference on Caring for Holocaust Survivors, which focused on pressing issues and exploring new services available for Holocaust survivors. The forum opened with the story of one client who until this year supported himself from the first store he owned. For years he would set aside some food for the poor families in the neighborhood. Now, physically too old to work, he can no longer afford to buy meat and fish for himself. His social worker enrolled the client into SNAP and Met Council’s Metropair. He was unaware of these services that now allow him to afford his monthly rent and food bills.
Another program available for the Holocaust survivors is Met Council’s Metropair, which helps the most vulnerable in our community live in their homes with safety, dignity and comfort. Project Metropair makes home visits to people who need minor home repairs, which could include: replacing door locks, installing grab bars, and reinforcing windows. Each year, we help more than 4,000 people remain independent. In an average month, our handymen provide about 620 hours of repairs.
According to UJA-Federation of New York there are 73,000 Holocaust survivors in the New York metro area with 51 percent living at or below the poverty level. Many organizations and government agencies are working to address this growing need. Met Council fills a unique niche for Holocaust survivors because of our comprehensive community-based anti-poverty service network that spans the five boroughs and provides easy access to address their needs. Met Council and our local JCC network provide high quality services that are delivered in a native language and culturally competent atmosphere of respect and empathy.
*Clients name may have been changed for privacy