Three government-funded facilities relocated as leases on former premises were expiring
The three government-funded shelters for homeless families have been relocated nearer to the city.
The New Hope Shelter for Displaced Families and Individuals has moved to Jalan Kukoh and Jalan Minyak, a stone's throw from Chinatown.
The Lakeside Families in Transition Shelter is now in Jalan Bukit Merah and Bukit Merah Lane 1, while the Wahah Shelter has been relocated to nearby Lengkok Bahru.
The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), which funds the shelters, told The Sunday Times that the moves took place last November as the leases of their former premises, in areas such as Bedok and Jurong, were expiring.
The Sunday Times understands that about 120 families are now staying in the three shelters, which can accommodate 156 families.
Social workers say these shelters are for homeless families facing a housing crisis, as they have nowhere to go, no family support and they need shelter urgently because they have been living on the beach, for example.
This is unlike families on the interim housing scheme, run by the Housing Board (HDB). Such families are not in as dire straits as the homeless families and they also have to pay rental of about $300 a month for a room, which is below market rates.
For those in the homeless shelters, some cannot even afford to pay the fees, which can be as nominal as $50 a month, depending on their circumstances, social workers say.
These shelters for homeless families are a fairly recent development initiated by the Government, social workers say.