Israel News

Tel Aviv’s Homeless Receive Winter Kits from Municipality Workers

Tel Aviv’s welfare workers have been handing out emergency winter kids to the hundreds of the city’s homeless people, together with blankets and hot foods, suffering through the harsh, cold winter. Though Tel Aviv has three homeless shelters, many individuals refuse to go there because of their strict rules. Similarly, one homeless person – when offered an emergency kit – responded, “I only need food and tea.”
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(From the Facebook page of the Tel Aviv Municipality: “Help us help them – dial *9106 from any [Israeli] cell phone 24/7.”)

Yoav ben Artzi, manager of the homeless peoples, substance abuse, and prisoner rehabilitation program for the Tel Aviv Municipality, said, “The connection with the homeless to the street begins on the street. They find their identity and develop, and that’s where they live.

“The challenge in the winter,” he said, “is to get to them and determine how much physical danger they’re in, and to determine whether or not they need to be sent to the hospital… If they don’t want to come to our shelters, we give them winter kits which include blankets, woolen hats, socks, and jackets. We do this to make their lives on the street better.”

Demographics of the Homeless

  • 62% of Tel Aviv’s homeless use drugs and alcohol
  • 12% are women
  • ~30% suffer from mental illness
  • 10% are people who have “fallen on hard times.”

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