A case history from the 1999 social workers’ files in Beirut

All of Nartuhi’s relatives perished in the massacres [committed by Ottoman Turkey against Armenians] in the early part of this [20th] century. Nartuhi survived in refugee camps because of a strong determination to live and the help afforded her by relief programs. Throughout her adult life, she worked at many different jobs, but mostly in poorly paid domestic service.

Now Nartuhi is old and sick. All of her meager savings have vanished in the rising costs of today’s economy, especially medical bills. The assistance she receives from the local brotherhood charity group will not pay her rent. The home for the elderly is already overcrowded.

Her priest directs her to JMP–L, where a medical social worker studies her needs and resources, guides her to the Medication Dispensing Service, assists her in registering with the Old People’s Home, and provides her with a small monthly allowance until she can be settled there.

Important note: In some of the stories, the names of beneficiaries have not been used or have been changed for the sake of privacy orconfidentiality