The Problem

Struggles the Homeless Face

1. Ignorant Inequality

Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they are not there.

2. Simplistic Stereotypes

“This is because inequality is not about absolute deprivation, unlike poverty. … Inequality is a structural impediment. Inequality is about how a society’s policies, structures, assumptions and decisions work together to create advantage for some groups, and obstacles for others.” 

— Chua Mui Hoong, Feb 18 2018, The Straits Times

3. Meritocratic Mobility

“We think that as long as there are equal opportunities, all is well. We overlook clear differences in people’s abilities to meet their needs with dignity and without undue struggle. Ultimately, by insisting that it is mainly opportunity that matters, we come to accept unequal outcomes.”

— Dr. Teo You Yenn, 
May 30 2018, The Straits Times

The Destitute Persons Act

As an individual

With Homeless Hearts

How to help as an individual

Spot a homeless person or someone you think might be homeless?

Here are 7 tips for you.

1. First do no harm

Don’t call the authorities on the homeless person unless you first ask his/her permission.

2. Offer some food

to the homeless person—but first, treat him/her as an equal human being. This shows sincerity and respect to the other person.

3. Listen to understand, not solve

Don’t be too fast to try and solve his/her homelessness. Listen first to what he/she may have to say.
Sometimes he/she is not looking for help but simply a friend to chat with.

4. Non-monetary help first

If a homeless person demands money from you, refrain from doing so. If he/she takes offence, simply walk away.
Instead, you can help in non-monetary ways:
Topping up his/her ezlink cards / mobile cards or buying food for him/her.

5. Point him/her to a Family Service Centre

Encourage him/her to go to the nearest Family Service Centre.
Offer to accompany them there if it is possible.

6. Message us on Facebook

You can drop us a Facebook message at the Homeless Hearts FB Page.
Our volunteers can go to accompany you if you are too shy / unsure of how to approach a homeless person 🙂

7. Respect their Privacy

Lastly, kindly avoid taking photos of the homeless friends to post on social media without their explicit permission and understanding of social media. They are fellow people first and foremost, whose privacy and dignity should be respected and honoured. Furthermore, their locations need to be kept confidential from the authorities

How to help with Homeless Hearts

It’s as easy as ABCD.

Advocate

Join us as an advocate to discuss and research on the state of homelessness. We work with community partners to develop practical solutions to address the socio-economic inequalities in Singapore.

Befriend

Join us as a befriender of the homeless by regularly visiting their key frequented areas. We encourage befrienders to focus not on immediate solutions, but establish sincere friendships first.

Contribute

As contributors, we identify and meet our homeless friends’ needs by identifying and encouraging one another to think of ways we can contribute that help our homeless friends most effectively. 

Donate

By supporting us with your donations, we will be able to accommodate more homeless people for longer periods, as well as meet their immediate practical needs, including temporary hostel stays.