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Homeless – the ‘invisible’ people in Singapore




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“I have lived in several different countries in my life. However, living in Singapore is the closest thing to paradise that I have ever experienced”, exclaims an expatriate in a blog post and adds “I thought it was interesting that I did not see a single homeless person during my entire stay in the country. I am sure there are homeless people in Singapore”.

The expatriate is surely not alone in ‘not seeing a single homeless person here’. The homeless among us are ‘invisible’ to many Singaporeans as well. So where do they live?

The Ministry of Social & Family Development said in Parliament last year that they “regularly patrols beaches and public areas to identify and provide assistance to persons who may be homeless”.  Yes, some homeless individuals and families live along our coastal shores.
beachChangi Airport is another great location to be if you are homeless. The newspapers recently reported a case of a young couple who had called the airport their home for 7 months.

A youth-centric website claims that some others who are homeless do find a place to lay their heads right at our void decks:
void deckOr on benches in our public parks:
benchOr on cardboard boxes nearby our neighbourhood shops.
dark cornerA local initiative which provides support for the elderly and homeless, does regular outreach in Chinatown.
chinatownSome become homeless because of their sexuality. T Project provides shelter to transexuals who are homeless.

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Some others who are homeless are helped by Government-private welfare organisation joint-initiative where 2 – 3 families share a 3-room (2 bedroom) apartment.


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