I was saddened to read in The Jewish Week that FEGS Health and Human Services is closing its offices after accumulating a $20 million deficit. FEGS, an organization that provides social services for hundreds of thousands in New York City and in the greater metropolitan area, does incredible work. It was the first organization I met with upon moving to Jericho, and I quickly learned about Project Replenish, which provides thousands with food collected during the High Holiday season. I also took two groups of Hebrew High Schoolers to stock the FEGS food pantry to provide food for those in need. Other congregations have cooked food at their facilities and served it to those in need through the auspices of FEGS. FEGS has also helped thousands of New Yorkers find work (through the Connect to Care program) and affordable housing and has programs to help those with disabilities.
Who will pick up these valuable services in FEGS’ absence? What will happen to the needy individuals on the Island who have relied on FEGS’ services in the past? On whom will the Seniors who have received support from FEGS for home care now rely? All these questions (and more) have no answers at this time.