03 December 2010
The US House of Representatives has unanimously approved a bipartisan resolution urging care for elderly Holocaust survivors. The non-binding text, passed unanimously, urges the Obama administration “and the Department of Health and Human Services, in conjunction with the Administration on Aging, to provide Holocaust survivors with needed social services through existing programs; and encourages the Administration on Aging to expeditiously develop and implement programs that ensure Holocaust survivors are able to age in place in their communities and avoid institutionalization during their remaining years."
The resolution was sponsored by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz from Florida. It comes as Jewish groups fear that funding cuts planned for the new Congress in the wake of Republicans winning the House will affect programs for the elderly. It also "applauds the non-profit organizations and agencies that work tirelessly to honor and assist Holocaust survivors in their communities."
Of the approximately 127,000 Holocaust survivors living in the United States today, three-quarters are over the age of 75 and nearly two-thirds live alone. Many of these survivors struggle to afford basic needs such as adequate food and healthcare; more than half of them fall below the US federal poverty line, meaning they earn less than US$ 21,660 per year.
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