More support needed to help the homeless

I am heartened by the Housing Board's (HDB) and the public's efforts in helping a couple get a roof over their heads ("Couple living in lorry finally move into flat"; April 26).

There is a group of people living out in the open that might have fallen through the cracks.

They are families and the elderly who might not have proper housing due to multiple factors, such as poor health, lack of a stable income and poor family relationships.

Welfare organisations need to work with the authorities such as the Ministry of Social and Family Development to assess the situation and gather statistical information to better help these people.

Regular outreach initiatives and recruitment of volunteers should be carried out in providing these people with basic necessities such as food and water.

Financial assistance and social intervention are also needed to further assist them as many are unable to purchase housing due to their financial situation.

More social support should be given to them as they are victims of circumstances.

Building relationships with them through the help of welfare organisations is important to identify their needs and the proper intervention methods to assist them.

It is sad that even though Singapore is progressing rapidly, these people might be stigmatised, feared or viewed as a nuisance.

I hope that the homeless and destitute are not forgotten, but that with society's efforts to reach out to them, meaningful conversations and strengthening of safety nets, they would be rendered the help that they need to live a life of dignity and hope.

Darren Chan Keng Leong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 09, 2016, with the headline 'More support needed to help the homeless'. Print Edition | Subscribe