Public health hazard? The Jaffa hostel

Tel Aviv's last hostel for mentally disabled faces closure

Management of Abarbanel Mental Health Center, Health Ministry seeking to close down Jaffa hostel for rehabilitation of mentally disabled – 12 residents fear they will be forced into psychiatric wards

The management of the Abarbanel Mental Health Center and the Health Ministry are seeking to close down the Jaffa hostel for rehabilitation of the mentally disabled which has 12 residents.


The Health Ministry says that the structure isn't safe and promises that solutions will be found for each of the residents.


On Monday the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court will hold a hearing into the petition filed by the patients against closure of the hostel. The patients filed their appeal with the help of Tel Aviv University students who hold a legal clinic and have enlisted to defend the hostel residents' rights.


"We fear that this is a real-estate ploy carried out by the mental health center which is seeking, under the pretext of claiming the residents are being endangered, to close the last government owned hostel for the mentally disabled," the students said.



מבנה ההוסטל. "המטופלים נכנסו לחרדות" 

The Jaffa hostel


In response to the student's inquiry, three weeks ago the Hospital Director Dr. Yehuda Baruch sent a letter in which he stated: "Sadly, the Jaffa hostel was declared a health hazard.


"Therefore, we have been forced to evacuate it of all its residents against their will and against ours… The renovation process will take time as the Health Ministry lacks the budget to renovate the building.


The letter makes no mention of the evacuation date nor does it detail which if any alternatives were presented to the residents. It also fails to mention what the hostel's future holds.


In July 2011 a Tel Aviv Municipality engineer declared that the old building needed to undergo a renovation, according to city regulations, with no need for the residents' evacuation.


M., a hostel resident said: "I have moved between dozens of apartments before I came here and for the first time I found stability and a home. If it closes, my world will fall apart. The thought that I might have to go back to the psychiatric ward fills me with terror.


Ran Melamed, deputy director at Yedid, the Association for Community Empowerment which is assisting the hostel residents, noted: "The patients were not given a hearing and they have not received any letters.


"Just two months ago they signed a long term lease that ensures their residence for another year, so it isn't really clear what happened. These people will be thrown out to the streets and their rehabilitation will be halted."



פרסום ראשון: 05.17.12, 07:50
 new comment
This will delete your current comment