OREK establishes groups of people without family support, assisting them to unite, and in doing so to create and maintain mutual social and economic guarantees.
OREK works with people who live without family backing – who deal with the world alone, and who are at high risk of dependency on (for example) Social Security benefits, public housing and welfare. OREK helps them open a door to a life of capability, independence and social, emotional and economic security. This enables a sustainable reduction of gaps in Israeli society, through the realization of personal and social potential, and promotes more equal opportunities and a more equitable distribution of wealth.
People lacking family backing do not have support at times of crisis – physical, mental, financial or otherwise – but also, in many cases, will not be able to take advantage of positive opportunities they encounter. For lonely individuals, their social capital and access to resources are so low that they often simply cannot realize their personal potential.
Among those we work with are: victims of domestic violence after rehabilitation in a shelter, Bedouin single mothers (mainly divorced), single new immigrants (Olim), single parents (by choice, after birth or surrogacy), people who have left ultra-Orthodox closed communities, graduates of boarding schools, individuals who have a history of placement with foster families, high-functioning adults on the autism spectrum, and members of the LGBTQI community.
Since lack of family support is the overall problem, OREK has developed an innovative model of alternative group and community support as a flexible solution. The types of support provided include social and emotional assistance, an economic safety net, cultural identity, a sense of lifelong belonging, and more.
In each case, the community is built from the peer group, on a democratic basis. The safety net is based on pooling the community members' particular capabilities, often using cooperative economic tools of various types. When the members of these communities band together, there is a significant economic potential – including human capital, consumption, production, knowledge, experience and more.
OREK is the only organization in Israel that works to remove the barrier of loneliness and create social capital where it is lacking, as well as to realize the individual and group potential, by building community capabilities.