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House of Eden creates new jobs for homeless people

Date Posted: 2010-01-05

The NPO foundation is Promise Keepers, and the Christian-oriented organization is busy from its House of Eden and Church in Uruma City, finding jobs for homeless people.

More than 400 homeless have been served by Promise Keepers and House of Eden, and the group has already found employment for half of the homeless and those individuals have moved on to new lives outside the group home. Some 200 continue living at House of Eden, and group leader Masatoshi Yamauchi and his team are still working to place them. The 60-year-old Yamauchi has ventured into raising vegetables on unused farmland, a program that is working well for his unemployed workers.

Dragon fruit is being produced along with other fruits and vegetables, and sold to 17 supermarkets. Minoru Nakazato, director of purchasing for PC Center, a fruits and vegetables wholesaler, is buying the products from Promise Keepers. “I’m happy to help them,” the 53-year-old director says. “I want them to be independent and find homes for themselves, so they can have a good life, too.”

A group called “Second Harvest Okinawa” is donating foods to Promise Keepers to support the House of Eden efforts. Second Harvest Okinawa gets foods from supermarkets and convenience stores, all donations including bread, eggs, cookies, candies, meats, tofu and box lunches. Second Harvest Okinawa says it gets all kinds of left over foods and items approaching or past permissible sales expiration dates in stores, but are still good. An official says even tofu in large 300-500kg quantities is being donated, and put to good use at House of Eden and other places.

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