OSAKA — The Osaka Municipal Government on Wednesday opened the city’s third shelter for homeless people at a park in Chuo Ward.
The facility, at the southeastern corner of Osaka Castle Park, can accommodate some 300 people. It has 18 prefabricated one-story structures, including buildings for sleeping in, as well as a structure for officials overseeing the site.
The facility is equipped with hot showers and spaces where homeless people can carry out their work, such as collecting empty cans, city officials said.
About 400 homeless people live in tents or huts throughout the park. About 160 of them, or about 40 percent, have expressed interest in living in the shelter, the officials said.
In a survey conducted by the city, about 20 percent of the homeless have refused to use the shelter because they do not want to have any contact with other people. Officials said they will continue trying to persuade them to move into the facility.
The homeless can stay at the site for up to three years. After they leave, they can live in an assistance center for up to three months, where they can receive help finding a job or training to upgrade their skills, they said.
The city has similar shelters in Nagai Park in Higashi-Sumiyoshi Ward and in Nishinari Park in Nishinari Ward.
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