Hello! We are a team of volunteers who hope to inspire and start movements of fellow Singaporeans to start their own small homeless outreach groups likewise. Just two or three, can already, who will take time to see – and stop for the one in need. Since 2019, HHOS has been a partner of MSF’s Partners Engaging and Empowering Rough Sleepers (PEERS) network.
HHOS is a secular outreach based on Christian values (as the co-founders are Christians). But it’s open to all – regardless of race, language or religion. So we hope to help them in whatever ways possible, whether advocating for them, or befriending, or ministering to them – both to the homeless and those who have houses but are homeless in heart.
Thus, our team takes a relational approach in helping the homeless, and help them find and get to the relevant social services. We also enjoy partnering with fellow like-minded and like-hearted community partners who care for our homeless friends too. Stop for the ONE in need – that’s our motto and modus operandi!
Our Stories So Far
- (24 Sep) How Homeless Hearts began: Extraordinary People: A friend to the homeless – CNA (channelnewsasia.com)
- (30 Oct) Father’s Heart for the Homeless symposium held at St. Andrew’s Cathedral: The Church is God’s finest answer to the problem of homelessness (thirst.sg)
- (Dec) Homeless Hearts holding its first homelessness symposium: Facebook
- (26 Jun) HHOS mentioned in former NMP Anthea Ong’s call for whole-of-society approach: Greater whole-of-society push needed to tackle homelessness – TODAY (todayonline.com)
- (25 Jul) HHOS part of MSF’s PEERS Network (officially launched in Jul 2019): Partnerships make a difference: Minister Desmond Lee’s Facebook post
- (30 Jul) HHOS organising free healthcare event for the homeless: ‘You don’t know our pain’: Helping the homeless find their way home – CNA (channelnewsasia.com)
- (8 Nov) Homeless in Singapore: Results from a Nationwide Street Count (nus.edu.sg)
- (13 Nov) Abraham and Cheng Yu: We Invited the Homeless to Our Wedding – YMI
- (20 Nov) “Loving the poor and needy shouldn’t be seen as radical”: More Christians open doors to homeless — Salt&Light (saltandlight.sg)
2020: Building a City of Refuge in the COVID-19 Pandemic
When COVID-19 hit Singapore, it revealed inadequacies in Singapore’s social support systems. Fortunately, the MSF PEERS Network had been started the year before, so HHOS and fellow PEERS + other community partners jumped into action to help shelter, equip, and mobilise the community to open their spaces to help host homeless people both from Singapore and other countries. We helped sound a public call for more community groups, especially the religious ones, to open up their spaces to help host the homeless during this period.
- (18 Jan) How HHOS helped a pastor get his church to start an S3P: “Many haven’t experienced God’s love, so let’s be on the lookout”: Yio Chu Kang Chapel, which opens its doors to the homeless — Salt&Light (saltandlight.sg)
- (12 Feb) “Don’t just do Bible study, go out into the streets!”: Advocate for the homeless and Singaporean of the Year finalist Abraham Yeo — Salt&Light (saltandlight.sg)
- (25 Feb) Heroes Unmasked: ‘These are our friends’ — volunteers keep helping homeless even after group suspends outreach – TODAY (todayonline.com)
- (21 Mar) HHOS partnering with Streams of Life to encourage Singaporeans to support stranded / homeless Malaysians: Home away from Home: Churches and charities express God’s love to stranded Malaysian workers — Salt&Light (saltandlight.sg)
- (30 Mar) The Straits Times: A journey in helping the homeless in Singapore
- (9 Apr) “Do not be afraid to do what is good”: Homeless Hearts appeals for people to open up empty spaces for the homeless — Salt&Light (saltandlight.sg)
- (13 Apr) #CityOfRefuge appeal for community to open up S3Ps (Safe Sound Sleeping Places) for the homeless: Homeless shelters at capacity as ranks swell: NGO – Coconuts
- HHOS & Solve n+1 partnered to start Open Home Network 1.0 in June 2020:
- (29 Nov) Derek Lim – 2020 SG Silent Hero – Singapore Silent Heroes | Ordinary Humans. Extraordinary Humanity. (sgsilentheroes.com
- (8 Dec) One of our volunteers, Peng Cheng Yu, was awarded a Healthcare Humanity Award in part for her healthcare work with the homeless: 95 healthcare professionals, caregivers and volunteers receive Healthcare Humanity Awards | The Straits Times
2021: Building a City of Refuge: A Sustainable Whole-Of-Society Approach
While HHOS was quieter this year in terms of publicity, we still had a lot of work to do. We realised that homeless families were one of the most vulnerable groups of people, with serious ramifications for their children. After witnessing a homeless family break up under the stress of homelessness and financial strain, we knew we had to step up in terms of providing greater support to homeless families. But in the same year, we also saw how the cost of renting flats on the open-market was soaring month after month, non-stop. That, combined with the shortage of rental flats and the backlog of shelters being full, and religious groups returning their spaces back to their normal services, would spell trouble for those struggling with housing instability. Furthermore, if local Singaporeans were facing these kind of crises, what about stateless people / vulnerable transnational families?
So we sounded out a new public call in December for more families to consider opening up their homes (with guidance from Open Home Network) to host their fellow families in need. A couple volunteering with HHOS also took in a terminally-ill friend of theirs who was both homeless and stateless, so that he could spend his last moments in the warmth of their home instead of a cold hospital ward.
- (9 Jul) Homeless in Singapore: Rough Sleepers Do Exist and Here’s 5 Organisations You Can Approach to Help Them (yahoo.com)
- (16 Jul) Our co-founder sharing about sustainable advocacy: How are Singapore’s advocates and activists sustaining themselves? | TheHomeGround Asia
- (4 Aug) A Heart for the Homeless: Derek Lim sheds light on homelessness in Singapore | Social Space (socialspacemag.org)
- (27 Aug) Heart For The Homeless – eNSman (safra.sg)
- (17 Sep) Loving & hosting a terminally-ill stateless and homeless friend: God is in the byways: A homeless tissue seller finds “church” in the streets of Holland Village — Salt&Light (saltandlight.sg)
- (24 Sep) HHOS’s virtual outreaches during lockdown: Don’t Put Your Love on Lockdown – YMI
- (19 Dec) An urgent appeal to help homeless families this Christmas (thirst.sg)
Two of our youth volunteers also presented their FYP theses this year on how the homeless handled the COVID-19 lockdown, and also how homeless youths handled their situations.
- Clara Soh:
- Cheong Ming Fang:
- (10 Jun) Open Home Network 2.0 launched: [𝐂𝐀𝐋𝐋 𝐅𝐎𝐑 𝐕𝐎𝐋𝐔𝐍𝐓𝐄𝐄𝐑𝐒 𝐅𝐎𝐑 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐎𝐏𝐄𝐍 𝐇𝐎𝐌𝐄 𝐍𝐄𝐓𝐖𝐎𝐑𝐊… – Open Home Network | Facebook
- (4 Dec) CNA Insider: These Singaporeans opened their doors to a homeless person. Here’s what happened