Homeless in Singapore?

Where do the homeless go?

There seems to be a perception that people in homeless shelters normally don’t get evicted, I have come across many cases of eviction and notice of eviction from homeless shelters.

Perpetual queue of homeless?

As I understand it, homeless shelters are almost invariably always full, with new homeless people all the time. So, unless one is evicted or threatened with eviction, they wouldn’t know actually whether they can fend for themselves, as most people will not volunteer to leave a homeless shelter.

Interim Housing Scheme

Those in the Interim Housing Scheme also get evicted because they cannot pay their rental.

How many homeless in shelters?

By the way, how many homeless shelters are there in Singapore, how many people are housed in total, and who runs them?

In this regard, I understand that homeless shelters do not have signboards or names, telephone numbers or web sites.

Homeless rising?

I also understand that the last time it was reported in Parliament, the number of homeless picked up by the authorities, had increased by 50 per cent or something.

In this connection, according to the article “MCYS picks up more homeless individuals” (Today, Jul 5, 2011), “The number of homeless individuals picked up by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) has risen to its highest in four years … a total of 339 homeless individuals and 10 families (50 people) were identified to be in need of shelter last year, compared to 217 individuals and 17 families (82 people) in 2009, 175 individuals and 10 families in 2008, and 121 individuals and four families in 2007”

Types of homeless shelters

I have come across homeless shelters for families, women and children, men, abandoned foreign spouses and children, etc.

How many homeless?

Finally, since the above statistics were only for those who were picked-up by MCYS and an unknown number already in homeless shelters. how many homeless are there in Singapore?

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.