MP Dennis Tan

Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong asked the Minister for Social and Family Development whether there are any plans to build more transitional shelters for homeless persons and rough sleepers including those for displaced families with no access to other forms of accommodation.

Mr Masagos Zulkifli B M M: There are six Transitional Shelters with capacity for about 500 individuals and 180 families. There is sufficient capacity as occupancy for individuals and families is around 50% to 60%. Hence, there are no immediate plans to build more Transitional Shelters.

While there are available shelter spaces, some choose not to take up shelter for various reasons. Some are not ready to accept help from social services and government agencies. Others choose to remain at familiar locations.

To help the homeless address their underlying issues, MSF works through the PEERS Network. “PEERS” stands for Partners Engaging and Empowering Rough Sleepers. It is a collaboration amongst community partners, social service agencies, and public agencies to provide timely support to rough sleepers and the homeless. Befrienders from the PEERS Network conduct regular night walks to reach out to rough sleepers. They help to address their basic needs, and link them up with agencies when they are ready to receive assistance. Some PEERS partners also set up Safe Sound Sleeping Places, or S3Ps, in community premises. S3Ps provide rough sleepers a safe environment to rest for the night and connect them to other assistance subsequently.

Ministry of Social and Family Development
13 September 2022

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