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Sharp Drop in Rough Sleepers as Community Support Expands: Street Count 2022

Type: Press Releases


Residential & Shelter Support

The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) conducted a street count of rough sleepers on 11 November 2022. This builds on earlier street counts carried out by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in 2019 and 2021.  

2              The 2022 Street Count of Rough Sleepers report details the nationwide single-night street count and survey of rough sleepers. 860 volunteers from the Partners Engaging and Empowering Rough Sleepers (PEERS) Network, academics, and members of the public helped to conduct the single-night count and survey. The PEERS Network comprises community groups, social service agencies, and government organisations working closely in supporting rough sleepers. Associate Professor Ho Kong Chong (National University of Singapore & Yale-NUS College) and Dr Harry Tan (Institute of Policy Studies) advised on the planning of the count and survey, as well as analysis of findings. 

3              530 rough sleepers were found, a significant decrease from the 921 rough sleepers sighted in a previous single-night count in 2019. This means that for every 100,000 persons in Singapore, about 9 are sleeping rough. While much work remains to be done, the incidence of rough sleeping is lower than global cities such as New York (40) and Hong Kong (21).   

4              To better understand the situation of rough sleepers, volunteers also surveyed the rough sleepers. Key challenges cited by rough sleepers who took part in the surveys included difficulties in securing and maintaining stable housing, disagreements with family or cohabitants, and irregular income or debt. MSF will continue to work with the PEERS Network to support each rough sleeper, so that they can better address the challenges that might be impeding their ability to secure stable long-term housing.

5              The reduction in the number of rough sleepers reflects progress in whole-of-society efforts to engage and support rough sleepers. Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Social and

Family Development) Mr Eric Chua said: “Over the past few years, MSF and partners in the PEERS Network have been working closely together to engage and befriend rough sleepers, and support their needs. We are glad that the PEERS Network has grown from 26 to 73 partners. Since its inception in 2019, it has supported over 1,600 rough sleepers through befriending and outreach, coordinated case support and provision of shelter. Collectively, we are working together to support rough sleepers and build a more caring and inclusive society.” 

6              The full report is available on MSF’s website at https://www.msf.gov.sg/research-data/research-reports-data/help-those-in-need/article/street-count-of-rough-sleepers-2022