Met Council’s Public Affairs Manager, Rena Resnick, testified before the New York City Council in support of the Council’s preconsidered resolution to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camps.
Rena testified that as we gather to commemorate this solemn event, we also must remember that those who were liberated from Auschwitz-Birkenau, and indeed all those who have survived the Holocaust to this day, still need our help. As survivors age they require additional care and culturally sensitive attention. For many of our clients, the loss of their spouse or the transition into a nursing home can be extremely traumatic and an unwelcomed reminder of the loss and institutionalization during the Holocaust.
Across our City, Met Council is one of the leading social service providers in the community and so the responsibility—and indeed the honor—of caring for Holocaust survivors falls to us. I am proud to share that each and every day the staff at Met Council meets this challenge. In addition, our staff supports and advises a network of case workers across the City, so that they too can best serve the most vulnerable among us.
In the past year, we served more than 2,000 survivors and distributed $409,770 of emergency financial assistance to address their basic needs and keep them out of crisis. Through the work of our dedicated Holocaust social workers, our social services case management staff, and our local JCC network, we address the distinct challenges of Holocaust survivors in a culturally competent atmosphere of respect and empathy. With critical support from the New York City Council, we:
- Help clients pay for medical, dental and orthopedic needs
- Keep clients’ heat on in the winter by helping to pay utility bills and other basic necessities
- Increase nutrition and decrease isolation through our home delivered meals program
- Enable clients to age in place safely by providing free home repairs through Project Metropair, a program fully funded by the City Council
The need continues to grow as survivors age and more services are needed to help. According to UJA-Federation of New York, there are 73,000 Holocaust survivors in the New York metropolitan area, and more than half live at or below the poverty level.
In conclusion, Met Council could not continue providing critical social services to thousands of needy New Yorkers each year without the vital partnership of New York City Council. We deeply value your leadership and partnership and look forward to working together to help the needy throughout the New York area.
To view the testimony, please visit: http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Video.aspx?Mode=Auto&URL=aHR0cDovL2NvdW5jaWxueWMucGVnY2VudHJhbC5jb20vZmxhc2gvbWVkaWFfcGxheWVyXzc5OGMuc3dmP3NlcnZlcj1ueWMtcnRtcC5wZWdjZW50cmFsLmNvbSZhY2NvdW50PWNvdW5jaWxueWMmdmlkZW9GaWxlbmFtZT1OWUNDLVBWLUNILUNoYTE1MDEyMS0xMTMwNDUubXA0&Mode2=Video#.VMulph6CvO4.email