THE GUIDANCE CENTER
An essential resource for all lone soldiers nationwide
HaBayit shel Benji’s Guidance and Support Center is open to all lone soldiers about to be discharged (not just to residents of the Bayit) and provides support programs to 400 lone soldiers a year as they make the difficult transition from army to civilian life. The goal is to help them achieve sufficient stability to become independent, productive and well-adjusted citizens.
Lone soldiers do not have a supportive family who will be there for them if they make mistakes, get into debt or choose an unsuitable education track. This is why it is so important to provide them with support and guidance as they navigate the transition from military to civilian life.
HOW DO WE HELP?
Our guidance and support process begins two to three months before the end of their service. The soon to be released soldier works together with the staff of the Guidance Center to develop a comprehensive guidance and support program that addresses all the following subjects necessary to any citizen in Israel:
- finding a 'starter' job while deliberating about a future career;
- finding and furnishing a place to live;
- learning how to manage finances wisely;
- higher education;
- immigration procedures;
- navigating Israeli bureaucracy.
Each soldier is then linked with a mentor, chosen on the basis of similar background and location. For instance, we will link a new immigrant from the Ukraine with a Russian-speaking mentor; a soldier who left his religious lifestyle will be linked with a mentor who has also left a religious background behind, etc.
Our mentors are volunteers who dedicate much of their free time to helping lone soldiers advance their life goals. We invest a great deal of time and effort recruiting and training volunteers and building them into a professional, supportive team.
We have 120 mentors, and over 150 "knowledge experts" who are specialists in their particular fields in various key areas of Israeli society, e.g.banks, health funds, hospitals, National Insurance Institute, Income Tax offices, leading Israeli companies, etc. These volunteers make themselves available at any time to help any of our soldiers in need of specific assistance and solve specific problems.
The Guidance Centre has an Intranet forum with all the training materials, updates and relevant contact information for our mentors and lecturers. The forum is accessible to the soldiers, mentors and our experts in various fields to facilitate the sharing of information and knowledge.