Why are there so many “elderly” homeless?


By Leong Sze Hian

I refer to the article “Restaurant owner gives out blankets to those sleeping on Chinatown streets as cool weather continues” (Straits Times, Jan 13).

It states that “Since last Thursday (Jan 4), the restaurant owner has been giving out blankets to those sleeping on the streets, mainly in mature estates such as Tiong Bahru, Redhill and Toa Payoh.

He estimated that he has given out more than 100 blankets so far. They cost around $10 per piece.

In the early hours of a rainy Saturday morning (Jan 13), The Straits Times followed Mr Ng, 44, on his solo mission to do good. In about an hour, he delivered nine blankets in Chinatown to mostly elderly men.

Some of them lie on benches and reclining chairs, while make do with a piece of cardboard on the ground.

One of them was carpenter and odd-jobs worker Chua Yong Sia, 61, who has been sleeping on the streets in Chinatown for the last three to four years. He said there are about 10 to 20 people sleeping in the area every day.”

Why is it that one of the richest countries in the world (according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)) with the highest Budget surplus per capita in the billions almost every year – have so many homeless who are elderly?

Well, arguably – it may be our “not so compassionate” public housing rental policies which may be contributing to this homelessness.

You may like to try this out and experience it for yourself – when you see a homeless person – call the ComCare hotline 18002220000 (you can see posters all over Singapore encouraging you to call when you come across a needy person).

What typically happens next is that the homeless person may be placed in a homeless shelter.

But, generally – the stay in a homeless shelter cannot be indefinite, and is subject to regular review – every three or six months typically.

So, some of the homeless end up homeless again, and their arguably, only long term housing solution is to rent a HDB 1-room rental flat.

But the requirements (which I understand has not changed for decades despite inflation) are that two single men of age at least 35 years old must somehow find each other, and their combined monthly income cannot exceed $1,500.

If you are lucky enough to find another homeless roommate whom you think you can live with – it may be quite difficult to meet the combined monthly income criteria.

Do you agree that such “not so compassionate” policies may need to be reviewed?



  1. So what are the elected MPs of the 70% doing? Are they not the ones to walk their respective grounds after being elected and bring such poverty matters to Parliament? I suppose not, as they are sitting on their fat laurels in their respective comfy aircon offices with big fat monthly salaries. Good job elected MPs!!!!!

  2. This govt is heartless full stop. Just look at their convoluted policies, they tell much about these MIW and their political agendas. The poor, lesser educated, aged, infirmed don’t count in their political book! For those who count, tow the line and u get by.

    No reason whatsoever to see people homeless, starving, and totally left out in the cold. Rich 1st world oxymoron! Truly sad!

  3. Nobody keeps chiu when asked who are homeless. Also the poor don’t need money but care and concern. If need there will be kuey lapis help. What else you want? 3 meals in a restaurant? After all there are no dead poor. Poverty had been eradicated. Where are the beggars? Show me.

  4. Such a pathetic scene never happened when LKY was in office with the old guards!
    It is an international disgrace as our ruling governor had promised these seniors to enjoy Swiss standard of living!
    The conscience of our ruling party have been swallowed by Alsatian dogs!
    ❤Where is compassion when their conscience have been swallowed by dogs???
    Are Singaporeans morons to say that the above pathetic scenario is fake news???
    The barbarians had driven our very own country fellowmen unto such pathetic livelihoods, will Singaporeans think wisely by GE2019 ???
    Even the pet dogs and cats have a shelter, why are they homeless, will HDB please provide them a one room flat ???

  5. I been manu quite a few countries on busines trip. Every where I go isee see soem home people. whethe ritis in London, Europe, China or Hong Kong. I may not understand how their country policy is but I see a different respond to the situation during the cold season. The charity in Hong Kong will go around distributig blanket and food to those living under the fly over, In the West, they will open up shelter and have soup kitchen. In Singapore we just ype of keyboard and complain. I am sure those in othe rparts of the world also complain, but at least the citizen is doing something.

  6. All Singaporean mentioned PAP “PAY AND PAY” but what about “POOR ALSO PAY”!!!

    Remember, One minister did mention that they get the RICH to pay for the POOR, BUT NEVER TO FORGET “POOR OR NO MONEY ALSO PAY GST AND AS WELL TAXES”????????????

    One minister mentioned that they get the RICH to pay for the POOR, BUT NEVER TO FORGET “POOR OR NO MONEY

  7. Have the MPs in those areas visited them and help them ? And how about the Minstar in charge of welfare & community visited them as well ? They receive sky-high pay packets every month. They don’t need that huge salaries to survive as a human being in SG, right ? How are they going to be compassionate then?

  8. i love it, everyone just want to comment and take a pick with the government. how much do you know about what’s going on? let me tell you, you know shit! i do audit and do you know how much is pour into helping all “homeless, poor, working” elderly? do you? bullshit you know and dont even kid yourself. Let me educate you, if someone gambles all their fortune and even took illegal loans to destroy their lives, do we help them? yes, the government does. if someone sold their 5-room after receiving grant from the government, used all the money to whore around, bought rolex, kept some in their secret bank/cash, do we help them? yes, the government does. if someone is getting a rental flat, the rental is $33 per month, claimed to be unwell and refused to work even though he’s 30 years old, do we help? yes, we do. All these helps from where? its our tax-payers’ money. If anything, we are giving way too much, when the social workers are interviewing and trying to find out factual information, its not because they got nothing better to do, its because they need to protect the limited resources to help those who really need it. not fakers like many of you, “aww so poor thing…” emotional stupid people. If you want to be upset, upset that the government is giving out too much money, when the government announce that they are increasing the social assistance, that’s when you should be worried! Trust me, low income, not you fking tards, those who are staying in rental flat and with lazy parents, they’re the worst. now, i’m still going to vote for PAP because fk you guys.