At the age of 16, Yarden dropped out of school, cut herself off from her family and found herself on the street. It wasn’t long until she started using hard drugs, to which she was addicted for 26 years. During that period she was left without a roof over her head. “You don’t really sleep when you’re on the street, you’re not protected. There are attacks. You walk around a lot. The street is dangerous for homeless women.”
In the past eight years she managed to kick her addiction. As part of her rehabilitation process she lived for five years in a shelter for homeless women in Tel Aviv. For a year and a half she even worked as a housemother. For the first time ever she was independent and even tried to rent an apartment by herself and to work.
However, the outbreak of the Coronavirus brought her to the street once again. After living on the beach for three days she decided to return the shelter. “I have no big plans, I’m just trying to take care of myself and not to become addicted again.” She says that the choir brings light into her life. “I never sang before. I had no experience, I never had time for that. I join and don’t miss a single session. It relaxes me, makes me happy, and prevents a lot of loneliness.”
WHY CHOOSE HOME BASE
Many of the people who join Home Base have suffered from alcohol or substance abuse, mental illness or other hardships which have left them without a home to live in or a family to support them.
The staff and volunteers are in constant communication with the homeless participants helping them in their job searches, legal issues, rehabilitation processes, and general reintegration into society. The support of Home Base gives them the impetus to get off the streets and move towards employment and self-sufficiency.
The organisation runs a variety of projects including adult men football teams, a team for at-risk youth, a women's choir, the street locker project and the street medicine programme.