image source : Fabrications About The PAP
Mr Laurence Lien
To ask the Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports
(a) what are the numbers of homeless persons, new and cumulative, in the last three years;
(b) what is the profile of these persons;
(c) what are the root causes of homelessness; and
(d) what is being done to tackle these root causes.
In 2009, 2010 and 2011, MCYS assisted 217, 339 and 264 homeless individuals respectively. Over the same period, we have also provided shelter and support to 72, 128 and 141 families respectively. In total, we assisted 820 such individuals and 341 families over the last three years.
The majority of homeless individuals are men in their 50s who have attained secondary education or lower. The majority of affected families are low income households (with monthly income of $1, 500 or less), with 4 or more members and have weak social support.
These individuals and families have housing difficulties due to a variety of reasons. Some had sold their flats to resolve their financial problems and could not afford to purchase or rent another flat in the short-term. Others were unable to stay with their families due to strained family relationships, anti-social behaviour or addiction-related problems.
My Ministry works closely with the Ministry of National Development and the Housing Development Board (HDB) to address the housing needs of this group. Those who are destitute will be admitted to Welfare Homes which provide basic accommodation and needs.
In addition, Voluntary Welfare Organisations, Family Service Centres and Community Development Councils provide financial assistance and social intervention to the individuals and families so that they regain their resilience and independence. The support includes equipping them with financial planning and budgeting skills, job training and employment assistance and relationship management. Efforts are also taken to ensure the children continue to attend school so that their education is not disrupted.
Individuals and families facing housing difficulties can get help early by calling the 24-hour ComCare Hotline at 1800 222 0000. The hotline also caters to those who speak dialects. The public is encouraged to call this hotline if they see anyone who needs assistance.
Source : MCYS : Numbers and profile of homeless persons