Mr Leon Perera asked the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) how many Safe, Sound Sleeping Places (S3Ps) are currently in existence; (b) what is the current utilisation of spaces in S3Ps; (c) what proportion of current S3P users are regulars; (d) what is the median number of nights spent by users at S3Ps; (e) whether the Government is keeping track of the profile of S3Ps users; and (f) whether the Government aims to continue working with the expanded number of S3Ps post-COVID to maintain continuity and accessibility.
1. As of 31 May 2021, there were 20 Safe Sound Sleeping Places (S3Ps) operated by community partners under the Partners Engaging and Empowering Rough Sleepers (PEERS) Network. S3Ps are unfunded ground-up initiatives that provide rough sleepers and homeless persons with a safe environment in which they can rest for the night. They also make it easier for befrienders and social service agencies to keep in touch with rough sleepers and homeless persons to provide social support in a timely manner.
2. As of 31 May 2021, the occupancy rate of S3Ps was 93%. The median number of nights spent by residents at the S3Ps was approximately 5 months. About 45% of those who stay in S3Ps have sought shelter there regularly for at least 6 months.
3. In terms of the profile of S3P residents, some of them are unable to return home or have lost their accommodation due to tensions with family members or co-tenants, loss of income or other issues such as divorce. Some others have been affected by travel restrictions due to COVID-19 and are unable to return to their country of residence. Those who are waiting out the travel restrictions and looking for alternative housing options have been some of the longer stayers at S3Ps.
4. MSF has been working closely with our community partners to link up residents at the S3Ps with help agencies so that they can get the appropriate support. Individuals who are prepared to work with social workers to secure stable long-term housing are referred to MSF-funded Transitional Shelters. We also refer them to appropriate help agencies such as the Social Service Offices (SSOs), Family Service Centres (FSCs), and Housing Development Board (HDB) that can work with them on their immediate needs and underlying issues to improve their circumstances.
5. S3Ps are an important initiative of the PEERS Network. They have embodied the Singapore Together spirit as government and community partners work in collaboration to support those who sleep rough. MSF will continue to work with our partners to provide social support to the S3P residents and to explore the possibility of setting up new S3Ps as needed.