Barclays has been instrumental in enabling Habitat Japan to provide cleaning support, furniture, and emergency kits to those in need, through Barclays’ COVID-19 Community Aid Package. In October, Habitat provided home cleaning assistance to Mr. Oda (pseudonym) to improve his living conditions. He is in his 60s and suffers from a spinal disc herniation. When it is acute, it can be difficult to get up and necessitates walking with a cane. He also suffers from atopic dermatitis, which has worsened over the past year. This condition prevents him from sleeping for more than two hours at a time because of intense itching all over his body.

Because of his disability, Mr. Oda receives weekly assistance to clean his bathroom and shop for groceries. During our visit, we observed that his room was tidy; however, the carpet was very old and had skin debris on it. In addition, the futon mattress was old and not well maintained. His social worker was concerned that an unhygienic environment was aggravating his atopic dermatitis and asked for our support. Barclays' generosity enabled Habitat to purchase new items to improve Mr. Oda's living environment.

When we visited, Mr. Oda's friends had just finished making room for the Habitat donations. We installed new flooring mats, and we set up a new futon mattress and a chair with elbow rests to help him get up more easily. Mr. Oda repeatedly said, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry," while we were working. We tried to put him at ease by telling him there was nothing to be sorry about and that we enjoyed talking to him about his hobbies and life, and our work. When the social worker saw the room, she exclaimed, "It's so clean now!" She suggested that he regularly use the ward's futon cleaning service to keep his futon sanitary."

Habitat's home cleaning assistance is made possible by donations from corporations like Barclays and the efforts of volunteers. We ask for your continued support to help those in need of a safe and decent place to live. Please click here to make a donation and here to become a volunteer. Thank you.