(JTA) – A group that provides assistance to Holocaust survivors in the United States said requests for assistance grew by 20 per cent in 2016 over the previous year.
The Blue Card, making the announcement this week ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Friday, said about one-third of the approximately 100,000 Holocaust survivors in the U.S. now are living at or below the poverty line. It is estimated that 61 per cent of the survivors living at the poverty line live on less than $23,000 per year, making it difficult to afford proper medical care, mental health care, nutrition and other basic necessities, according to the organization.
In a recent survey of Holocaust survivors that The Blue Card works with, the group found the greatest needs for financial assistance were for home care (13 per cent), food (12 per cent) and utilities (12 per cent), as well as assistance with supplies for Jewish holidays (11 per cent), dental care (10 per cent), medication (nine per cent), housing expenses (nine per cent), transportation (nine per cent) and medical supplies (eight per cent).
Founded in Germany in 1934, and re-established in the United States in 1939, The Blue Card has distributed nearly $30 million to Holocaust survivors.