Reaching out to the needy in the neighbourhood

We thank Mr Liu Fook Thim for his suggestions ("Build profiles of the needy in each neighbourhood"; last Saturday).

Residents' committees (RC) aim to promote neighbourliness, racial harmony and cohesiveness among their residents.

As important bridges between the people and the Government, RCs also avail government programmes to their residents.

To do this effectively, RCs need to understand and map out their residents' needs.

This is done through various ways, such as house visits, block "chit-chats", floor parties and RC Centre activities.

Some RCs maintain community directories of needy residents to facilitate outreach in times of need.

For example, in this current haze situation, it is because of the RCs' cumulative efforts over time that they are able to identify and distribute WeCare Packs to vulnerable residents and those who are immobile or sick, as well as the elderly with medical conditions and are living alone.

When there are major policy announcements, grassroots volunteers, including RC members, will be given basic details about these policies.

This helps them to explain basic information on these policies to the residents and identify the best available help that the Government can render to them.

On top of all these efforts by our RCs, community support remains vital. We urge more residents to step forward and do their part in helping to identify neighbours who need help and refer them to our volunteers.

Bob Lau Yongxing
Residents' Committee Council

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 07, 2015, with the headline 'Reaching out to the needy in the neighbourhood'. Subscribe