gearFamilies and Individuals with Disabilities

A caring community creates an environment that strengthens the physical, intellectual, and spiritual well-being of individuals and families and helps them improve their quality of life by providing psychological, employment, and social services.

According to our most recent statistics from 2002, each year, roughly 3,000 Jewish households – that is one in six Jewish households – report that at least one person in their household has “special needs.”

Across the United States, over 4.8 million non-institutionalized Americans with disabilities who rely on federal monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) have incomes less than $8,700 per year – low enough to be priced out of every rental housing market in the nation, including Pittsburgh.

Understanding the health status of individuals in the community is important because poor health can be an indicator of needs for community-based services and may prevent individuals from participating in the community’s programs.

Overall, almost a quarter (22%) of Jewish households in Greater Pittsburgh include at least one person who is in fair or poor health (Tables 8.6a and 8.6b). One-quarter (25%) of households include at least one person who is limited in the amount of work, school, or housework he or she can do as a result of an impairment, disability, or chronic physical or mental health problem. One- third (38%) of households include someone in need of counseling or mental health services. One- third (35%) of those in the Involved group say that someone in the household is limited in the kind or amount of work, school, or housework they can do due to an impairment, disability, or chronic physical or mental health condition.

Table 8.6a Health challenges for anyone in household

(% of Jewish households)

*Note: Discrepancies between the overall proportion and the engagement group estimates result from the former being a measure of households and the latter being a measure of individuals.
 Anyone in poor healthImpairment/disabilityRequire medical health services*
Minimally Involved192118
Squirrel Hill163126
Rest of Pittsburgh192730
South Hills172223
North Hills181732
Rest of region193425

Young adults ages 18-34 (53%) and households with children (40%) report the highest rates of need for mental health services. Senior citizens report the highest rates of impairments or disabilities (40%).

Some members of the Greater Pittsburgh Jewish community have elderly parents in the area and are either already providing significant care to them or are planning for the possibility of doing so in the future. Nine percent indicate that they have a parent living in the area in a household other than their own who requires elder care services. Four percent have parents living in independent living facilities, assisted living facilities, or nursing homes in the Greater Pittsburgh area.

Additionally, 2% of households are providing regular caregiving to one or more non-elderly family members.

Eight percent of households include someone who was constrained by health issues from participating in the Greater Pittsburgh Jewish community in the past year. Of the 120 respondents who shared details on their specific constraints, the most common obstacles are mobility issues (54), mental or emotional challenges (22), and chronic illness or disease (21).

Table 8.6b Health challenges for anyone in household

(% of Jewish households)
 Anyone in poor healthImpairment/disabilityRequire mental health services
Length of Residence
10-19 years222045
20+ years233127
Household Structure
Single adult(s)253232
Household with child(ren)141240
No child(ren)222929
Respondent Age
Conservative 92421