A socio-political activist who runs a non-government organisation that counsels unemployed Singaporeans distributed supplies to homeless people last Saturday evening (Dec 21).
In a social media post yesterday (Dec 24), Mr Gilbert Goh wrote that a group of five people distributed raincoats, sleeping bags and goody bags to homeless people in the Kelantan Lane and Jalan Bersih area.
They walked for two hours around the old estate, looking for the homeless. Mr Goh wrote: “We must have met close to twenty of them and returned home empty-handed — glad that everything is being given out to the homeless.”
The number of people living on the streets varies from location to location. A study last month by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy found that there are 1,000 homeless people in Singapore.
Assistant Professor Ng Kok Hoe from the university, along with a team of close to 500 volunteer field workers who covered all 12,000 blocks of residential flats and other public and commercial spaces over a period of three months, found and recorded the number of individuals who were asleep or going to sleep in public spaces.
Of the homeless people interviewed, 47 per cent cited unemployment, irregular work and low wages as the reason. Other main reasons for homelessness included family relationship problems and inadequate or inaccessible housing services.
One of Mr Goh’s volunteers felt the weight of the work he was doing during the festive period and remarked: “It felt sad knowing that there are still people out there sleeping out in the rough especially during the festive season.” /TISG