Dozens of people displaced when a tornado ripped through the Kings Point development last month are depending on the support of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, the services of Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services (JFS) and the generosity of our community to help them through this life-altering crisis.
The group of senior citizens lost their homes when a Hurricane Ian-fueled tornado destroyed them – leaving a total of 55 people homeless. About 15 of the 55 had no friends or family who could take them in, and JFS and our Federation worked with other local agencies to find and pay for housing for them in West Palm Beach.
Only one of these seniors had homeowners’ insurance. It is now a priority of our Federation’s Hurricane Ian Relief Fund that we use the donations raised in our local community. 100% of hurricane relief funds will go to those impacted.
“The seniors living in Kings Point are already low or very low income, with little to no savings to help them recover from a tragedy like this,” said Danielle N. Hartman, JFS President and CEO. “These seniors will need our help to begin to recover.”
Hartman pointed out that this situation highlights the ongoing affordable housing crisis in Palm Beach County.
“It’s been devastating and without our help, they won’t be able to return to their homes,” Hartman said.
After the Sept. 27 tornado, JFS worked with the Palm Beach Division of Emergency Management, Alpert JFCS in West Palm Beach, Summer Faerman of B’nai Torah Congregation, and Hands On Tzedakah (HOT) to find housing for those 15 seniors at Fountain View Senior Living in West Palm Beach. The response to this devastating situation must be shared by multiple entities in the greater community.
In addition to housing, case managers are helping get the seniors settled in their temporary homes, providing trauma counseling, and applying to FEMA for funds to help rebuild their homes.
While the organizations initially were helping 15 people displaced, they are now getting calls from some of the other 55 originally displaced people who now also need help.
“People didn’t anticipate how long they would need housing from friends and family,” Hartman said.
Our neighbors need us now! Give generously to help them rebuild their homes and their lives at: jewishboca.org/ianrelief.
Pictured: Kings Point residents being transferred to Fountainview for temporary housing by staff members. Photos courtesy of Fountainview.