A home for life
The story of Shikmim
"Shikmim" was founded in 1982 as a registered Non-Profit organization, near Rehovot in Israel, providing educational, vocational and residential services to young adults diagnosed with developmental disabilities.
"Shikmim" is seeking to apply for funding to realize the vision of a permanent home in the community designed in accordance with all standards for persons with disabilities. (See architectural renderings attached.)
The founders and main supporters have been the Almog family, whose 41 old son Uri was born with a developmental disability and is one of the residents of "Shikmim House". The efforts of the founding parents have profoundly impacted and contributed to the development of unique service delivery systems for persons with disabilities in Israel.
"Shikmim House" is the successor framework of the “Shikmim School" and serves as a continuing framework for the graduates of the school as they leave the structured special education environment (legally in Israel after age 21) and manage their day-to-day lives in the community.
Living in an urban environment, strongly encouraged by professional bodies of the Israeli Ministry of Social Services, has given "Shikmim"’s residents the experience of living and working within the community and cultivating a feeling of self-worth and contribution to society. The general community is quite accepting, welcoming and exhibits great enthusiasm towards the “Shikmim” residents.
Over the years "Shikmim" has excelled at providing support services and is therefore recognized and funded by the Ministry of Social Services.
A typical daily schedule involves setting out for work in the morning.
Most of the residents are employed at the "Shikmim" sponsored workshop. The work includes collecting, peeling, sorting and weighing nuts for sale to wholesale customers, assembling parts for irrigation systems, medical equipment, greenhouse materials and metalworking and packaging writing and stationary materials for stores and factories. In addition, the residents work at the Ha'Nahala Banquet Garden. They attend to kitchen duties and set up guests' tables.
The afternoon and evening schedule invites the residents to take part in a myriad of activities such as various therapy, sports, computer, arts and crafts, exercise and karaoke evenings. Every week the residents, together with their group leaders, embark on a local outing of their choice. Once a week the residents hold a facilitated meeting in which they discuss social issues that concern the group. The owner of the building in which the "Shikmim House" has been operating for the last 16 years is planning other uses for the property and has given notice of the lease’s termination in mid-2014. The founders of "Shikmim", and parents of current residents, have proactively and strategically decided to build a permanent facility for "Shikmim House", and a life-long home for its residents.