A controversial shelter for homeless people who had been relocated from cardboard houses in JR Shinjuku Station was closed on Tuesday, as agreements with reluctant local residents to allow them to stay there only for six months expired.
A total of 42 former homeless people, who failed to land a job during that period at the job counseling center in the Kita-Shinjuku district, moved to another facility near Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. But this facility, called Sakura-ryo, is also scheduled to be closed at the end of October.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government managed to open the two facilities only after promising locals that homeless people would stay there on a temporary basis. In February, a fire of unknown origin destroyed the cardboard village and a total of 135 homeless people were forced to move to the two temporary centers.
As of Tuesday, 68 people were still staying at Sakura-ryo, including 42 from the Kita-Shinjuku center. But the metropolitan government has not come up with any new facilities to accommodate them beyond the end of October, officials said.
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