It is a story that highlights the plight of the homeless in Singapore. A 3-generation family has opted to live in Changi Airport for the past 2 months as they can’t afford a home.
Family homeless in Singapore
The story of this family was first reported in Lianhe Wanbao. Apparently, Ms. Peng Hui Ying, 45, her 74-year-old mother, Madam Lin Mei Cui, and her 13-year-old son have been struggling to find a home for the past 2 years.
They sold off their flat in 2016, and had been moving between 2-room rental flats for more than 10 times after they depleted their savings and couldn’t afford the rent.
In December 2017, they were shifted to a transitional shelter but weren’t able to adjust to the arrangements. Finally, they decided to “stay” at Changi Airport instead!
Ms. Peng has been quoted as saying, “We usually spend daytime between Terminal 1 and 3. At night, we’ll sleep on the sofa in Terminal 4.”
Apparently, the family mostly uses wet towels to clean themselves. Occasionally, they have baths at public swimming complexes.
Struggle of the homeless in Singapore
Ms. Peng says she is so poor she only has $5 in cash. As for their food, sometimes, kind passersby offer them bread. On other days, they make do by sharing 2 plates of plain chicken rice, which costs around $1.60.
This mum worries about the health of her son, who is a Secondary 2 student at Punggol Secondary School. The boy goes to school by train, and often reaches late.
According to Stomp, a spokesman for the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSFD) has clarified that the Punggol Family Service Centre has been alerted to the situation. And that, Ms Peng was granted ComCare subsidy between January and March 2018.
This is not the first case of people choosing to live at Changi Airport. Last year, it was reported that a woman in her 50s had been staying at Changi Airport for the past 8 years!
Regulars at the airport find living there quite convenient as there is a food court, supermarket, air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi!
Changi Airport Group is aware of the many people who seek shelter at the airport, but does not encourage it.
“We will work with agencies like the Ministry of Social and Family Development, as well as Family Service Centres, to find the best way to help them,” they have stated earlier.
In Singapore, if you need social assistance, or if you want to help a homeless person, please call the ComCare hotline at 18002220000.
Also READ: Singapore mum says family suffering in spite of 5-figure income!