As we age, we are more and more likely to be isolated and homebound. This is especially true with Holocaust survivors,  who are often extremely reluctant to trust larger institutions and people that they do not know.  They will often end up staying in their homes for weeks at a time, without any kind of socialization or even fresh air.


The Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island (JCCGCI) works with Holocaust survivors throughout the five boroughs in various capacities. They had a friendly visitors program where they paired up volunteers with homebound individuals, and they ensured that the seniors had the health and cleaning services that they needed.


I thought it would be a good idea to start a socialization group for those who were homebound. I worked with a team to create a crafts group once every three weeks, so that these homebound seniors would be able to meet other people who were in similar situations and who understood what they were going through. Not only did these seniors receive visits from younger people, they then also had the opportunity to get out of their homes every so often and come together with peers. They were also able to create various forms of crafts, each week focusing on a new medium. Using social work group skills, community organizing skills, program directing expertise, and a creative lens, we developed the group, advertised for it, collected RSVPs, arranged transportation for the seniors, and prepared for and facilitated the group itself.


Collaborators: Louise Lallouz and the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island