February is Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion (JDAIM) month. It’s an important month to take stock of how we as a Jewish community respond to those needing help and access to services.

Over 75% of JFS clients using our Family and Adult Resources are people with disabilities, and often their greatest barrier is to find stable and affordable housing.

Ron* came to JFS when he had exhausted all his options. Due to a physical and mental disability, he could not be employed and was repeatedly turned down for housing. After sleeping on the street, he was desperate to change his situation. Fortunately we were able to help him through the complex process of submitting an application for disability.

It took just a couple of months before Ron was approved. Once he had a steady income, housing agencies were more willing to look at him as a potential tenant. From that point, we were able to help him find housing and now he has more stability and predictability in his life.

Without the support and advocacy of our community, people like Ron remain in difficult situations.  We are glad to support JDAIM in raising awareness and championing the rights of people of all abilities to be included in our community and to be enabled to live a dignified life.

*not his real name