JHC is an acronym of Joint (cooperation, sharing, inter-change), House (base), and Cosmos (harmony). It aims at taking on to share other people’s problems, promoting joint activities, and creating a heartwarming community where people help each another. JHC Itabashi is a general term, referring collectively to the work of the two separate organizations, namely:
- “JHC Itabashi Steering Committee”, a non-profit private organization which manages 5 workshops, 3 nighttime care locations, a peer support center and a vocational and livelihood support program, etc.
- “JHC Itabashi Group”, a juristic body incorporated for social and welfare, which manages a sheltered workshop, a group home and a clubhouse, etc.
(1) JHC Itabashi Steering Committee
JHC Itabashi is a non-profit organization established in 1982 with a capital jointly participated by 11 social workers working at mental hospitals. Those 11 founding members have walked their path of life together as partners based on their firm belief in the potentials of individuals they come in contact with at their respective working place and by reacting positively to those less fortunate individuals’ hopes and desires for dwellings, work or personal contacts with their peers and neighbors.
Currently the work that is managed by this group consists of 4 kinds, namely:
- 5 nonresidential, joint training workshops for persons with mental disabilities under the Tokyo Metropolitan Government program
- 3 nighttime care locations, Itabashi Ward’s own independent program
- Peer Support Network Center subsidized by a foundation
- a vocational and livelihood support program
(2) JHC Itabashi Group
JHC Itabashi Group is a juristic body incorporated for social and welfare that was established in 1996 with the JHC Itabashi Steering Committee as its nucleus. The Group manages:
- a nonresidential sheltered workshop, a group home and a community life support center under the Mental Health and Welfare Act
- a club house as a social house as part of Itabashi Ward’s public welfare program to support persons with mental disabilities
The fundamentals of the management of these two organizations lie in their being a “workers’ collective”, in that everyone joins forces each in an equal standing. JHC Itabashi has as the base of its activities to uncover potentials hidden in each and every individual and create an opportunity to make the best use of them in his or her contact with the society. Every member of the community has been marching forward hand in hand with an eye to creating a heartwarming, mutually supportive community.
JHC Itabashi’s march forward that was initiated at the same time as UN Decade of Disabled Persons points to the way toward normalization of life where everyone makes a full use of his or her potential so as to live a meaning life.
Our activities attach much importance to rendering our services in such a way as to be able to realize our stated objective in the course of individual or community life of persons with mental disabilities hand in hand with peers, their family members, citizens in general as well as governmental administrators.
(3) Activities’ concept and objective
The pillar is the three basic concepts of Itabashi Ward toward creating a heartwarming, mutually supportive community in addition to the citizens’ duty to endeavor toward understanding and cooperation in promoting and sustaining people’s mental health and reinstatement in the society as provided for under the Constitution with its emphasis on the human right and the Mental Health and Welfare Act. (See Table 1)
The activities have as their objective to promote self-reliance and social participation by persons with disabilities to begin with, and then to promote pioneering and creative activities for the sake of the ward citizens’ mental health and welfare, thus contribute toward the creation of a heartwarming, mutually supportive community. The activities’ focus is to promote the independence and social participation by persons with disabilities, which serves as a link in the activities in making a mutually respectful, friendly, and supportive community.
Table 1: JHC Itabashi Activities’ Concept
- Every citizen has the right to live a healthy and cultural life at least at the minimum acceptable level.
- To endeavor toward sustaining and promoting mental health and also toward understanding and cooperating in reinstatement of persons with disabilities in the normal social life (Article 3, Mental Health and Welfare Act)
- Creation of a heart-warming, mutually supportive community (Itabashi Ward’s basic concept)