Dec 10 Bonenkai presentation in E & J

these are not the same but similar talks.

Outline in English
On TV we see homeless men looking for work, men looking for shelter. But these are not places for women, places where there are only men. And its riskier for women to sleep outside, to be homeless. If they do it is likely that something tragic will happen.

Step House helps not only homeless women, but also women who are physically abused as long as they are over age 15.
Step house has only 18 rooms, and is almost always full. There some shelters that provide temporary shelter but women need more than that. At Step House women get support while getting medical treatment, while they are going through trial, assistance with getting a restraining order. They can stay with us while they get treatment for mental illnesses, get their lives back and are able to get back to work.
Let me share one story about a woman who came to us the other day. She lost her job, she can not pay for her apt anymore, shes already 2 or 3 months behind in payments, and was evicted by the landlord. She lost hope and planned to commit suicide by jumping into a river.

Fortunately, she was taken to a nearby social welfare office. Upon hearing her story of desperation, the caseworker said to her “how dare you jump into the river !" So when she came to Step House her mood was dark and had mistrust in her eyes/ the look of distrust.

There aren’t other places like this providing support and allowing stays of 6 months to 2 years.
In Japan there is a general lack of concern for the rights of women, vulnerable people and minority peoples, so the government lacks interest in these issues as well.
People who come to Step house need more than our attention, but they need us to work to move mainstream society and the government => to understand these issues and to operate and fund such facilities.
The work is tough, but to see these women s who use Step House start to smile and return to their own life, return to society gives us courage.
We really appreciate everyone’s support.
staff member Rutsuko SHOJI











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