8 January 2018
Er Dr Lee Bee Wah
MP for Nee Soon GRC
To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) how many crisis shelters are there currently; (b) what are their capacities for men and women respectively; and (c) whether the Ministry has plans to expand the number of shelters to accommodate homeless singles.
1. Individuals who have exhausted all means of accommodation options, are referred to Transitional Shelters which are funded by the Ministry of Social and Family Development and run by Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs). There are 3 Transitional Shelters with a total capacity of 156 families and 60 individuals catering to both genders. The allocation between men and women will fluctuate from time to time, depending on need. These shelters are intended to provide temporary accommodation, as social workers from the VWOs work with the families and individuals to address their social issues and work towards securing long-term housing arrangements.
2. Individuals who are unable to work, have no financial means and do not have accommodation and family support, are admitted to our Welfare Homes. There are 12 Welfare Homes, with a total capacity of about 2300. There are 1250 places for male destitute persons, 250 places for female destitute persons, and the remaining places are in Welfare Homes that cater to both genders. These homes are funded by MSF and managed by VWOs. They help to meet residents’ basic needs, as well as help them improve their emotional and physical well-being through rehabilitation programmes.
3. For victims of family violence, MSF funds Crisis Shelters to provide them with temporary accommodation, while safety plans are mapped out for these women and their families. There are 4 crisis shelters with a total capacity of 220 beds.
4. The current capacity of our Shelters and Welfare Homes is sufficient to meet the current needs of individuals and families facing housing issues or crisis. However, MSF is constantly reviewing this as we keep a close watch on intake trends and capacity utilisation of the Shelters and Welfare Homes.