General Vision on Revitalization of Kamagasaki
Interim report for the general vision was compiled at the 8th forum on
July 15, 2000. As a result, the following process of revitalization was
suggested based on the plan of "Utilizing 2000 Vacant Rooms"
in cheap lodging houses --the first stage as the urgent actions for homeless
people and the second stage as drastic measures for revitalization.
Second Stage / Drastic Measures for Revitalization
The main purpose of the second stage is to revitalize the Kamagasaki community so that anyone can live there for an extended period of time. According to our survey, 70% of the laborers answered, "I want to keep living in Kamagasaki or the surrounding area".
Some say they wish to maintain their commercial activity in Kamagasaki; others say they wish to live in Kamagasaki for a long. Although there are several problems such as gaps in consciousness and conflicts among the local residents, they need to collaborate and produce a new system to see their wishes fulfilled.
Please take a look at the whole system of the second stage. It forms a "four-leaved clover bringing fortune"; the four leaves are "stable housing", "creation of jobs", "networking and support" and "co-existence". If one leaf is missing, it is not a "fortune clover". We believe "stable housing" is the most significant leaf.
We take the large spaces the lodging houses occupy as the "existing" local resources and propose ways to revitalize and improve them.
Since the summer of 2000, seven welfare apartment buildings have been established. we have started to call these "supportive houses". Six buildings are filled to capacity where a total of more than 600 people live; one was just opened last March. Each supportive house is equipped with handrails and a shared living room; there is no gap between floors for the handicapped and the aged. There is a consulting staff for daily living; there is no need for a security deposit and guarantee. Our aim is to support aged homeless people so that they can live self-reliant and peaceful lives in supportive houses without returning to the streets.
"Association for Supporting Aging Community of Kamagasaki" was established --a volunteer organization in partnership with the Kamagasaki Community Regeneration Forum (KCRF); we demonstrate our support measures with their residents. From the results we solve problems and find solutions so as to spread our activities to other parts of the community. In this way, we will propose ideal measures to the society and the government.
In addition, we aim to build group homes for chronic drinkers and mentally disabled people (as a project to diversify types of housing). We will also participate in projects such as food service delivery, free medical care and activities focusing on life objectives so that we can establish a local welfare network in Kamagasaki; We would like to do this because there is no such system.
However, if all the lodgings become "welfare apartments", it is just the same as going back to the past. We should aim to create a variety of options for residents as well as improve the lodging conditions. Successful "welfare apartments" are looking for ways to be different from each other. From their experiences, it appeared to be important to enhance social programs such as the living and residential care consulting system and the utilization of a shared living room.
Creation of Jobs
There are two kinds of working conditions --fundamental and supplementary. Public works are reliable sources in providing the latter kind of jobs such as a special cleaning project by the aged.
In addition citizens organizations are now in the process of creating jobs --NPO Genki 100 bai Net (NPO Energy 100 times Network) is one example. With the "Community Building and Repairing Team" and "Kama-kama Care" projects, people are actually working in welfare apartments; this system has been developed through much trial and error.
One of our members, the Citizen Home Life Association, is promoting a project for those who are not willing to be homeless --this is organic waste recycling and organic vegetable production and sales commissioned by the Osaka Prefectural Government.
Networking and Support
There are several small projects which have already been started. For instance, there is a project facilitating community interaction between the aged residents (most used to be rough sleepers) in welfare apartments and children in day-care centers. In addition seminars for supportive living, meetings, the condition of living inquiry project are held by the Satsuki Tsutsuji Association and Tsukimi-so Association (organizations consisting of welfare recipients to support each other) in the Taishi Welfare Center (an open facility owned by a lodging owner for the purpose of community development). The above-mentioned condition of living inquiry project is supported by paid volunteers and also contributes to the creation of jobs.
Furthermore, the local currency Kama promotes the networking of people to develop support systems for each other.
We plan to work on this field.
Kamagasaki community consists of a variety of people. We aim to make this community livable for every one by taking advantage of this diversity. In order to do so, residents' participation is needed.