New social service office to help needy residents opens in Ang Mo Kio

Ang Mo Kio residents in need of assistance can turn to a new social service office (SSO), which was officially opened on Friday. -- ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN 
Ang Mo Kio residents in need of assistance can turn to a new social service office (SSO), which was officially opened on Friday. -- ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN 

SINGAPORE - Ang Mo Kio residents in need of assistance can turn to a new social service office (SSO), which was officially opened on Friday .

Staffed by 15 people, the office will disburse funds to needy residents, and work with the Workforce Development Agency to match jobs and provide career counselling.

It will also coordinate about 40 welfare organisations to identify those in need and prevent duplication of services.

The funds are from the ComCare Endowment Fund, set up by the Government in 2005. Such funds are mainly distributed in the form of long-term help for poor elderly people, temporary help for those facing crises, and subsidies for children from low-income families.

The SSO at Ang Mo Kio St 53 joins 13 others, as part of the Ministry of Social and Family Development's plans to set up a total of 23 offices across the island by next year.

Since it started operations on July 1, the office has handled about 800 cases.

Most of these were elderly residents living on their own and in need of financial assistance, or families whose breadwinners recently lost their jobs or did not draw enough to meet their monthly expenses, said the office's general manager, Mr Ang Chee Meng, 45.

On Friday, the office was officially opened by three Ang Mo Kio GRC Members of Parliament: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Mr Ang Hin Kee and Mr Seng Han Thong.

Also present were Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing, Central Singapore District mayor Denise Phua, and grassroots and charity organisation leaders.

Located at the Ang Mo Kio 3G Centre, a facility for senior citizens to stay active within their community and for inter-generational bonding, the office is a five- to 10-minute walk from the Ang Mo Kio MRT station and bus interchange. It is open on weekdays, from 9am to 6pm.

rachelay@sph.com.sg