Over the last few years, we have been discussing the ever-worsening poverty crisis in the charedi world, its potential to harm the rest of Israel, and the refusal of charedi leadership to try to solve the problem. We've seen charedi apologists insist that charedim have a right to require the rest of the country to support them. And we've seen well-meaning but deeply misguided activists attempt to raise funds from the US in order to prolong the current disastrous kollel system.
What can we do about it? There are many of us who want to help, and who are willing to contribute to address this crisis, but only in a way that truly helps, not in a way that just makes things even worse further down the line.
We need a charity fund that will work according to Chazal's values. We need to not adopt a kollel, but to adopt a kollelnik, and to adopt him like a parent adopts a child. After all, he is indeed like a child, having never been taught how to fend for himself. We need to be like parents - with the parents' obligation, as per Chazal, being to teach their children to be financially self-sufficient. And, like parents, we need to impart Chazal's values to our adopted children.
In practical terms, this means as follows. There needs to be a charitable fund that will not simply give cash or food handouts to people in kollel, but rather will prepare them for the world of work. The very worthy organization Kemach already does that, but we need a fund that will also insist that its recipients will not make the same mistakes with their children, and that they will follow Chazal's directive to prepare one's children to be financially self-sufficient. This means that they will not send their children to schools that do not teach secular studies and that indoctrinate the students towards a kollel lifestyle.
Ideally (but not essentially), this fund would also work in a way that could be directly targeted. In other words, if a kollelnik comes to your door to ask for money, you could offer to help him, and specifically him, within the framework of this charitable fund. This would mean that you need not feel guilty about not helping him, and it would give him an incentive to change. You could say, "I am willing him to help you a significant way, provided you are willing to follow Chazal's values." I've been speaking with someone about setting up such a fund.
Lemaan Achai. They focus on rehabilitating people into being independent, rather than giving handouts. And they provide an option of a "Smart Matanot L'evyonim" program in which half the money will be given on Purim for the mitzva of the day and the other half set aside for more important needs. I can't praise Lemaan Achai highly enough!