Singaporean homeless Loay Hoay between Covid-19


With many Singaporean people, adherence to the home directive or wearing an aperture when out is very difficult. With the homeless, it becomes unfeasible.

All that Jason (not the real name), 37 years old, can think of these days as how to limit the toilet use, 6 cents left in the bank account and the hand-antiseptic water bottle set at the elevator the subway station where he sleeps nightly.

Tool Mr Pang Jee Tang on the temporary house on Singapore Street. Photo: Today Online.

Tool Mr Pang Jee Tang on “temporary house” on the streets of Singapore. Photo: Today Online.

Wearing Jason’s will causes the sleep to be even more stuffy. In today’s hot weather, the clothing and hardcover Jason covers the ground often drenched with sweat the next morning.

Jason begins to sleep off the street from November 11 years apart when he is evicted from the house with a command from the court. According to Jason, life since the time of Singapore ordered blockades to stop Covid-19 on 7/4 “worse than nightmares” with homeless people like him.

35 The Singapore agency has agreed to provide about 700 beds for the homeless to the temporary colonel in the period of the blockade order. However, almost 400 beds have no subscribers yet.

Not less homeless for various reasons that refuse to register in a dozen places provided by charitable organizations.

Jason gives or access to such support is not a simple thing. According to Jason, he went to the social Services Office of the Department of Family and Social Development (MSF) to register for a dozen months ago but the process was being standstill because Jason’s case officer asked him to go to the Institute for Mental Health (IMH) to assess the likelihood of alcoholism. However, he refused to think he had no problem with alcoholism.

When asked why Jason was unable to arrange a place at the shelter for the homeless, the MSF spokesman said they needed to consider a series of different elements before receiving new ones.

The speaker added that Jason was once accepted into a shelter but could not continue to stay because of a refusal to comply with some guidance. “He was dependent on alcohol and had aggressive actions on staff and other residents. This made it difficult to arrange him into another shelter. “

Jason is only one of the seven homeless people that reporter Today Online caught in the Rochor district in the center of Singapore last week, despite orders of blockade from the administration. Five of these are elderly, the subject that is most vulnerable to Covid-19.

One person is Pang Jee Tang, 80 years old, dishwashing staff. His familiar sleeping spot between the two large flower pots along an alley on the Purvis now has three more of the dry.

The staff at Chin Chin Eating House, where he worked, said Pang, who had slept on the street for 20 years, remained happy with everyday life. He simply sought to adapt to the circumstances.

“I’m always here. I’m not going anywhere, “he said.

Another person is a sanitation officer in Newton’s condominiums. The 64 year old began to sleep on the street from about half a year ago to avoid controversy with his wife. Two people are in the process of divorce.

Before the outbreak of the epidemic, church volunteers had occasionally sought him, giving him a place of colonel, but he refused to want to hear lectures in exchange for help.

“I’m afraid they will brainwash me,” he said.

Since the blockade order is issued, volunteers are no longer available. The police have come many times but they don’t ask him to move.

He was glad to remain in the place where he said he was “accustomed to it”. He adds that he wants to sleep near his work, so if he is enrolled in the shelter, he does not know where he will be transferred.

Jason, 37 years old, sleeping on a hardcover plate under subway station. Photo: Today Online.

Jason, 37 years old, sleeping on a hardcover plate under subway station. Photo: Today Online.

According to associate Professor Ng Kok Hoe from the School of Justice of the National University of Singapore, the homeless people are very vulnerable because the Covid-19 because they are mostly elderly, have underlying pathologies and live in unsanitary environments.

But some social protection agencies and volunteer groups for or present, they cannot do much by the midst of blockade orders, they cannot perform nightly trips to determine who needs help.

According to See Choon Wai, managing director of Pasir Ris Family Service Center, the homeless people are very important to their independence. “They are also aware that they themselves are hard to live with others,” he said.

Manage the shelter facilities for or they need to set regulations and safety standards whenever they receive them. Some people have a setback in meeting these standards.

“We need to check if they carry a weapon, use alcohol or addictive substance, whether they have physical and mental problems or require special care, because we can’t afford it as well as the means to help,” said pastor Yio Chu Kang says.

Abraham Yeo, co-founder of Homeless Hearts of Singapore, added that “for safety reasons, the shelter cannot contain alcoholics, abuse of stimulants or people with mental health problems”.

Vu Hoang (According to Today Online)


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