The neighborhood of San’ya (its name was erased from
maps about 40 years ago) was once known as a town of workers. The
work residents had was all physical and the town was full of men that
came in response to that demand.
Amid this rough environment, many laborers drank daily among their friends. As they worked, they would live by their own rules and there were many that became physically disabled. Maladies included cirrhosis of the liver, petit mal, hypertension, burns and other injuries. Many did not talk about their problems and suffered alone.
To make some sort of response to this social problem,
in 1984, Sanyūkai opened as a free medical clinic. At the beginning,
we operated out of a two floor wood building that we rented, and while
we received patients on the second floor, we made food for as many
as 100 people in a single day.
At that time, we had only a little air conditioning, wind blew through cracks in the walls and mice ran about. Just for the winter, we would rent out a kindergarten in Asakusa and make arrangements for 40 people to sleep there.
In 1985, we rented a different building near Minowa
Station and we created a place where elderly persons could gather
casually. Then gradually new patients increased and our volunteer
nursing staff increased. At the same time, the number of people coming
to takidashi increased, and we had complaints from neighbors. Sanyūkai
had to secure possession of a place and building for itself.
Then, in 1989, we bought land and created just the bare structure of a three story building. Inside we created a clinic, a room for consultation, and a place for older people to gather and moved to or current location from our previous rental location.
Later, with the Japanese economy changing, the demand
for day labor decreased and many unemployed in their 50s and 60s gathered
around San’ya. Soon the number of people living outdoors in tents
around the Sumida River increased.
Among people who have to live in harsh conditions, the decline of their physical condition is striking. As a result, the number of people that came to the Sanyū Clinic from the streets increased every year. Because of increasing demands, Sanyūkai could not respond with its power alone, so to increase relationships with private support organizations, the ward office, hospitals, and welfare facilities, we received certification as a nonprofit organization (NPO) in April of 2002.
Currently Sanyūkai has 12 staff persons conduct our
activities with the cooperation of 175 volunteers. Among them include
11 doctors and 20 nurses.
Persons of diverse religions and nationalities volunteer to help to create a more humane life for people that have to sleep outside. We hope to continue to work together in these efforts.
|1984||October||Sanyū Clinic activities started as private organization Sanyūkai|
|1985||May||Meal service for the elderly started at Iwashita Center|
|1989||January||Place of activities moved to the present address|
|1997||April||Class II social welfare service facility Sanyū Home opened|
|1998||September||Tie-up with Medecins Sans Frontieres Japan|
|2000||April||Independence of Sanyū Home from Sanyūkai|
|2002||April||Juridical personality of specified nonprofit organization (NPO) obtained|
|2008||May||Certified as authorized NPO by National Tax Agency|
|2009||April||Class II social welfare service facility Sanyūsō opened|