Panel to discuss how to help homeless people in Singapore
There are 921 to 1,050 people who are homeless and sleep rough in Singapore, a nationwide count by a team led by Assistant Professor Ng Kok Hoe of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore (NUS) found last year.
The study was supported by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).
But how did these homeless people get into their situation, what is being done to help them and what more can be done to ensure they get the support and care to improve their situation?
A closed-door panel will debate these questions and more on March 24 at Singapore Press Holdings in a discussion titled Homelessness: Whose problem is it?
It is organised by The Straits Times in partnership with the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM).
SKM hopes the discussions will help develop achievable ideas to tackle the problem.
It will be moderated by SKM general secretary William Wan.
The panellists are Homeless Hearts of Singapore co-founder Abraham Yeo, NUS postdoctoral research fellow in the department of sociology Harry Tan, New Hope Community Services chief executive Andrew Khoo and MSF's Partners Engaging and Empowering Rough Sleepers Office senior director Lee Kim Hua.
They will debunk stereotypes of the homeless person and bring to fore the complexity of issues they face, said SKM.
Said Dr Wan: "We at SKM feel that one person sleeping rough on the streets is one too many. There is much kindness in Singaporeans, but very often we don't exhibit it out of a lack of empathy or information about a topic such as this."
Mr Yeo intends to explore the possibility of "how a multi-pronged approach through the community can be more effective to help the homeless in the long run".
SKM hopes the anecdotes shared will inspire Singaporeans to be more aware of the less-privileged around us; and to also respond to a call to action to give their time, expertise or resources to help these people.
ST will carry a summary of the discussion on its website and in print on March 25.
The public can submit their questions or suggestions on the topic to https://str.sg/Jxez
Deadline is March 23, 2pm.