One Voice
2009年 10月 02日

Feeding services for homeless people



These days, some services for
handing out free food to homeless people
has been stopped by local public offices
on ground of complaints by neighbors.

Following news article of Japan Times is old one,
but another feeding service in a park in Ikebukuro
was stopped by Ikebukuro-ku (Ikebukuro-district) officials
in September.
NPO giving this service in Ikebukuro has re-started it
in another park.
However it might be ordered to stop again
if residents near the park complain.


Japan Times
Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009
NPO told to stop feeding homeless

Staff writer
The nonprofit organization Sanyukai,
which aids the homeless in Tokyo's Sanya district,
has been ordered by the metropolitan government
to stop handing out its weekly free meals
along the Sumida River
because local residents are complaining,
the volunteer group's chief said Friday.

Metro officials said most of the complaints were filed
since last spring by parents of students
attending local schools
who fear the kids will come
in contact with those waiting for free meals.

In addition, the activity infringes on Article 24 of the river law,
which forbids occupancy of public riverbeds
without proper authorization, according to the metro officials.

"We've been conducting handouts
at the riverbed for over a decade.
I don't understand why we are receiving these complaints now,
" Sanyukai Director Jean Le Beau said.

The group has been told to end the weekly meals,
which attract 300 to 500 homeless people
near Komagata Bridge, by March.

A metro official at the 5th Construction Office,
which grants permission for occupation of roads and rivers,
told The Japan Times they are only asking the group
to relocate, and do not disapprove of its activity.

But Le Beau said they are having a difficult time
finding an alternative public location away from residential areas,
and said he was puzzled as to why, in such dire economic times,
the city would want to halt their activities.

Le Beau noted that although meals are provided at another site,
he feared that would be barred in the future,
as his staff recently reported
the location has begun to draw complaints.

by hideki_sunagawa | 2009-10-02 11:06 | labor/poverty

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