Tag Archives: homelessness

Down and out in Tokyo

Published by Al Jazeera English, Oct. 26, 2014

Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts – and the homeless – beg to differ.

Tokyo, Japan – Minoru Ebata’s living quarters stand out in the upscale Tokyo neighbourhood of Shinjuku. The 64-year-old sleeps on a makeshift bed on the sidewalk off busy Koen Dori (Park Street), a pedestrian overpass somewhat protecting him and a few piles of his possessions from a cool autumn drizzle.

“It’s hardest when it’s raining,” he explained about his two years of living outdoors.

A short walk down the street, beneath the next overpass, finds Kazuo Oka, who makes about 3,000 yen (US$28) a day collecting recyclable cans, and is proud of the sidewalk dinners he makes on a portable stove. Continue reading …

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My final editorial for Spare Change News

First Person: A Paper With A Future. Like any good Greater Bostonian, I always dutifully bought each new issue of Spare Change News when it came out every other Friday. Jesse, my Spare Change vendor who sells the paper in Court Square, not too far from the State House in Boston, was a very nice guy. He was big on the mission of the paper and appreciative of the opportunity to sell it. Continue reading …