In Their Own Words – Graduate Stories
My parents are divorced, and I am an only child. I came to Israel from Europe. My mother lives in the north of Israel, and my father remained in Europe and we are not in touch. We have no family in Israel, and my mom is a beautician and masseuse. My mother encouraged me to come here and serve in the military, but she is not doing well financially and has accumulated many debts. I served as a combat soldier in the Golani brigade, but I managed to work on the weekends, to earn money so I could help my mom pay her debts to the bank. Because I am not alienated from my mother, I wasn’t recognized as a lone soldier. Fortunately, I met Orna from Homebase. She welcomed me with all her heart and gave me a discount, since I don’t get any assistance from the army. I hope to study visual design at college and find a job. I'm very thankful to Homebase for taking me in.
Dear Orna, I would like to thank you for everything you have given me and for everything we've been through together. I can honestly say that the time I spent here, has really helped me a lot. My stay at the Homebase house meant that I did not have to hurry, and I could take my time until I found an interesting and fulfilling job. I am leaving now and would like to wish you and everyone here lots of luck in the future.
Dear Orna Thank you very much for inviting me over for the holiday meal. I deeply appreciate it, but I no longer celebrate the holidays - not with family members nor with friends. It is too difficult for me... I hope you understand.
I am a graduate of Homebase, and thanks to Homebase I found my dream job. At Homebase, I met friends who have become my family, and most importantly, I finished my army service knowing that someone will take care of me. Towards the end of my military service, I was completely stressed out and frightened. I knew I was leaving a place that took care of me and of all my needs, and that I'll have to start being responsible for myself and I did not feel ready for that at all, but I heard about Homebase from a few of my friends, who were part of this project, so I applied to join the Ra'anana house. I was accepted and moved into a place where they took care of all the "scariest" things such as paying the bills, local taxes, and rent. But more importantly, Orna and my roommates at the house supported me and became my family. This gave me the peace of mind and time I needed in order to look for a meaningful job, and I really did find one. I could have never built my life the way I wanted without Homebase's help and the time awarded to me by staying at that house. Time is something that most Israelis who benefit from their family's support, have. The time you need after your military service to figure out what you are going to do next. However, most lone soldiers do not have time, they need to start working immediately after they finish their service. I think that youngsters with no family backing are also entitled to have the time they need in order to decide what they want to do, or the time to study. I believe that everyone deserves to be taken care of, to have someone making sure they are ok. And thanks to Orna and Homebase, this is exactly what discharged lone soldiers get. I hope this project will continue to grow and help many others as well.
Hi, I would like to tell you what Homebase means to me. But first, let me tell you a bit about myself. I grew up in a Haredi family in Jerusalem, when I was 18 years old, I stopped being observant and joined the military. I was recognized by the army as a lone soldier. During my service, the significant gap in my basic education really bothered me. For example, when we had drills with foreign armies, because I never learned English, I could not communicate with them, and that's just one example out of many. It was clear to me that the first thing I would do when I finish my army service would be to study. After my discharge from the military, I realized how complicated life was when I had to work 24/7 just to pay the rent and utility bills. And this is why this special house is so helpful, it provides a basis for everything. It's a home, a quiet and peaceful place that gives me the confidence that someone is always here for me and that I can focus on my studies (it's not that I don't need to work at all, but at least I can work at a pace that allows me to build a life for myself). So that's Homebase for me. A stable place in the present that is helping me build a better future.