SINGAPORE: A resident took to social media to share that a homeless man had been sleeping on a stairway near his home for almost two months now.

“Police intervention has been attempted, but he flees before their arrival. Any insights or advice on addressing this issue would be invaluable,” Mr Wan Ru Sek wrote on Facebook Group ‘COMPLAINT SINGAPORE’ on Saturday (Jan 3).

Photo: FB/COMPLAINT SINGAPORE

The resident shared that the homeless man was adamant about “staying near his girlfriend in their block” and that “he has posed challenges.” 

The resident also claimed that despite being given food and drink, as well as engaging in some friendly conversation, the homeless man still insists on sleeping on the stairway, contributing to unsanitary conditions through inappropriate behaviour and public urination. 

“This poses a safety concern, especially with young children in the area,” the resident said.

Photo: FB/COMPLAINT SINGAPORE

“Please reach out to MSF (Ministry of Social and Family Development)”

Social media users advised the resident to contact government agencies to help the homeless man find a better place.

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One user said, “Not sure if it’s the right place, but maybe reaching out to social services or the town council might help.”

While another wrote, “Please reach out to MSF instead . Do not reach out to town council or other agencies. Not everything comes under town council purview. Only cleanliness, external wall, outside piping or electrical matters comes under town council.”

One user shared a similar experience, saying, “Actually you can try to reach out to msf. They will go and speak to them. During Dec there’s an uncle also doing the same thing. I approached msf in late Dec to help the uncle, and now he’s no longer there. I believe they have found a place for him.

Homeless people in Singapore

According to a 2019 study by Ng Kok Hoe titled Homeless in Singapore: Results from a Nationwide Street Count, homelessness was found to exist throughout most of Singapore and was most commonly found in larger, older housing estates, estates with a higher concentration of rental apartments, public housing void decks, and commercial buildings.

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Photo: FB/COMPLAINT SINGAPORE

In addition, older Chinese men were found to make up the majority of the homeless population. Most were Singaporean citizens with little education and were either single, separated, divorced, or widowed. 

Furthermore, the study found that the primary causes of homelessness were family, housing, health, and economic issues. 

Who should you call to relocate homeless people?

In Singapore, if you find yourself without a place to live or if you come across a homeless person who has indicated they need assistance, give the ComCare hotline a call at 1800-111-2222 or 1800-222-0000 (Monday to Sunday: 7 am to 12 am).

Alternatively, you can also email msf_peersoffice@msf.gov.sg to request assistance from pertinent agencies.

Homeless Shelters in Singapore

Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) PEERS Network

The Partners Engaging and Empowering Rough Sleepers (Peers) Network, a collaboration between government, social service, and community organizations, was introduced by MSF in July 2019. The homeless can find safe, sound sleeping places (S3Ps) on the properties of these PEERS partners.

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Transitional Shelters for the Homeless

Three temporary shelters offer displaced people secure, short-term lodging:

  • Ang Mo Kio Family Service Centre Community Services
  • New Hope Transitional Shelter for Families in Crisis
  • AWWA

Individuals may remain for a maximum of six months while social workers assist them in locating longer-term housing and jobs.