The Shelter for displaced families, a project initiated by the then Ministry of Community, Youth and Sports (MCYS), now known as Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), began operating in June 2007. NHCS’s vision is to provide temporary housing to the homeless families, while assisting them to regain their footing in the society without having to break up the family structure. To date, we have provided temporary shelters to more than 900 cases in both family and individuals, who may otherwise have resorted to staying on the streets, parks, car-parks, void-decks or beaches.
When a displaced family has been referred to NHCS, a case manager will be assigned to the family. The case manager will interview the client and ascertain the family’s situation and needs. Upon admission, the case manager will assist the family to settle down in a temporary shelter. In order to better assist the client, the case manager will have to understand the circumstances leading to client’s loss of housing. On behalf of the client, the case manager will liaise with the relevant organizations (e.g. HDB) to explore and facilitate long-term/permanent housing. In addition to housing assistance, the case manager will identify and collaborate with other relevant social services providers to help tide the family over this difficult period. During the client’s stay at the temporary shelter, NHCS will also provide life-skill training, basic counseling, mediation sessions (only when necessary), job placement assistance, and monthly food ration to the clients. We would also help them look for jobs through news papers, online or by word-of-mouth. Recently, a job placement agency has decided to extend its help to NHCS and we will refer clients to them for placement opportunities.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
NHCS recognizes that it is crucial to settle displaced families into temporary shelters in the shortest time. It has also placed equal, if not more, emphasis to assist and train the clients so that they can be independent once more. Running a shelter is not without its challenges. One of the challenges is moving the clients out of the temporary shelter into permanent or long term housing. However, the challenges and problems are minute as compared to the great sense of satisfaction derived when displaced families become self-reliant. NHCS will continue to provide HOPE to families in need.
The Shelter for Displaced Individuals was initiated by the then MCYS, now known as MSF, and began operating in January 2010. The Shelter serves both males and females who are homeless and can accommodate a maximum of 40 individuals. Since the shelter began operations, it has taken in more than 50 individuals. The displaced individuals come to the shelter by referrals from the various organizations like Family Service Centres, hospitals, CDCs or prison services.
The Shelter’s emphasis is on community living and as such, the clients are greatly encouraged to be independent by participating in their communities and have a quality life where they take ownership in their own decisions and the financial resources to implement them. In view of this, the clients are greatly encouraged to work and source for permanent housing, with the latter assisted greatly by the case manager through facilitation with the relevant organizations. Apart from housing, the case manager will also engage other relevant social services providers with the relevant expertise, to help the individuals to re-integrate into the society again. During the clients’ stay at the shelter, the case manager will conduct weekly home visits and provide basic counseling, a brief therapy of 15 minutes, to the clients once or twice a month. However, a longer session will be conducted if the need arises. The clients are also encouraged to cook with the monthly ration provided by NHCS and to adhere to the cleaning roster. The clients usually come to NHCS wrought with much emotional baggage. Therefore, it is gratifying when the displaced adults managed to find employment, move on to permanent housing or re-unite with their families.
Shelter for Family & Individual Form
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