43 Survivor Assistance Program – South Palm Beach County, Florida More than 1,250 of the almost 5,000 Holocaust survivors in Palm Beach County, Florida live at, or near, the poverty level. The goal of the Ruth and Norman Rales Jewish Family Service (JFS) Holocaust Survivor Program is to enable survivors to live out their lives in their own homes, safely and with dignity. Because of the horrors experienced at the hands of the Nazis, survivors do not fare well in group care facilities, such as nursing homes. JFS arranges for home health care, cleaning services, transportation to medical appointments and visits by a social worker. JFS is committed to the concept of “aging in place” by enabling these survivors to maintain independent lives in the community for as long as possible. Many survivors are frailer and require more services. These survivors are outliving all projections. The same “will-to-live” that kept them alive 70+ years ago is still there. HOT funds the emergency needs of survivors that are not being met by anyone else. The Claims Conference (a conduit of the German government that makes grants to agencies like JFS) limits emergency need funding to $2,500 per year no matter how serious the need is. JFS has limited funds to meet these needs. We cannot stand by and permit people who lived through such horrors be unable to eat because of lack of dentures or be unable to hear for lack of a hearing aid. They cannot be asked to “wait until next year.” The Claims Conference also gives grants for homecare aides but in most cases limits the amount each survivor can receive to no more than 40 hours a week. Think about it, a very frail survivor of unspeakable horrors getting help for 8 hours, five days a week. Do people who endured Hitler have to stay in bed over the weekend? Do they have to wash their own floors? Maybe they should be in a home, but that would be completely losing their independence and they cannot be asked to do that. THEY CAN’T BE. Recognizing that we cannot permit frail survivors whose only crime was being Jewish to risk broken hips and other injuries, three years ago HOT made a short-term Challenge Grant. We agreed to put $30,000 into a fund to add hours of help to those who most need it IF JFS could get our grant matched twice over, once from the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, and once from individual donors. We gave them 2 weeks to get the match. Ten days later we got a call from JFS telling us that our leadership resulted in our $30,000 being matched not twice, but thrice. The $120,000 (our $30,000 and a total of $90,000 from the Federation and 3 individual donors) provided critically important additional hours of help to individuals who have 70+ year old scars. HOT Needs • $36,000 will permit us to fund emergency needs as they occur • $38,480 for personal aides for 10 survivors @ $18.50 an hour for 4 hours a week ($3,848 per survivor per year)