In November last year, the Lee Kuan Yew School Of Public Policy conducted a nationwide study to determine the scale of homelessness in Singapore.
It was the first study of its kind.
Researchers found that there were between 921 and 1,050 homeless people on the streets of Singapore.
The main reasons for homelessness were economic, family, housing-related and health problems.
The situation was exacerbated in March, when Malaysia implemented its Movement Control Order.
The 300,000 Malaysians who commuted from JB to Singapore daily to work had to either go back and risk losing their jobs, or find a place to stay here.
As a result, some of them had to sleep rough.
One Malaysian woman who works here was recently found sleeping on the streets, but for a very different reason.
M’sian Chose to Sleep on the Streets in S’pore Instead of Sharing a Room With Others
When Malaysian news agency Bernama conducted a check over claims that Malaysian workers are living in the streets of Singapore, they came across a woman with a unique reason for sleeping rough.
“I have a home, but I like it this way. It is my own choice,” the woman said.
Bernama covered several parts of Kallang in three-hour rounds, hoping to speak to Malaysians without a place to sleep.
The 48-year-old woman who spoke to them is from Miri, Sarawak. She wanted to be known as Chris.
She was the only Malaysian out of around 30 homeless people interviewed that night.
Chris came to Singapore a year ago and works as a cleaner at Changi International Airport.
When Bernama came across her, she was sitting alone at a hawker centre watching her favourite TV show on her phone.
She said she has a home and would stay in her room if she could be alone. But since she has to share it with others, she chose to sleep on the streets instead.
“I like being alone,” she said.
Chris has been on the streets for two months, and often goes to hawker centres to feed stray cats.
She accepted a blanket that was offered to her.
More Homeless People in the City Area
Believe it or not, there are more homeless persons in the city area, according to the study last year.
The largest number was found to be in the city (251), Bedok (60), Jurong West (53) and Kallang (51).
On the other hand, fewer than 10 people were found in areas such as Choa Chu Kang (6), Sembawang (6), Queenstown (5), and Punggol (1).
50% of the homeless were reported to be around 50 years old or older. A third of them were in their 20s to 40s.
46% were Chinese, 16% were Malay and 11% were Indian.
Most of them sleep at public housing estates. Others sleep at void decks and commercial buildings.
Sadly, only 10% had soft bedding like blankets and pillows, and only 25% of those interviewed had only eaten one meal a day or less.
So, when we’re lying in our comfy bed with our air-conditioning blasting cool air, complaining about the lack of KTV sessions these days, we should remember that there are people out there who have it much, much worse.
Featured Image: SkyImages / Shutterstock.com (Image is for illustration purpose only)