Multiple factors influenced the decision to focus on elders and people with disabilities. Among the most common reasons are:
- The Jewish population is older than the national average;
- Our Jewish values to care for the vulnerable populations;
- Increased calls from caregivers and those needing services, including need for emergency food and shelter;
- This population is experiencing significant loss of pension and savings;
- The impact that supports for elders and adults with disabilities have on those receiving care and their caregivers, most often adult children;
- The crisis in state funding for elder and disability services;
- Information indicating that many elders and individuals with disabilities are living below the poverty level and financial security standards;
- The existence of advocates and coalitions supporting additional resources and creative policy for these populations; and,
- The need to prevent short-sighted policy made during crisis.
We are working with partners throughout the Jewish community and in the elder and disability advocacy arenas. We believe our advocacy efforts are best directed toward helping elders and people with disabilities to live as independently as possible and with dignity, by seeking resources and creative policy change and by preventing further reduction of program funding and establishment of crisis-time policies.