Have they solved the homeless sleeping in public places?

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I’m now having coffee at Mayflower coffee shop of Blk 59 New Upper Changi Rd, opposite the hawker centre. It’s about 1.00 am and there are still people drinking beer here. I’ve just finished work and dropped by for some coffee.

I notice that the concrete shelter between this coffee shop and the hawker centre is unusually quiet. No one sleeping on the stone benches like before. There is not even a single soul in the dead silent night. It’s quite strange. For the benefit those readers who are not aware, I blogged recently about the plight of homeless sleeping there.

Pls refer to the article here.

Out of curiosity, I walked to the concrete shelter to take a closer look. Lo and behold, all the stone benches are now fitted with solid chrome metal bars or barriers. With the chrome metal bar stuck in the middle of the stone bench, no one could sleep there anymore. One could only sit there now.

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I returned to my table and asked around. Only last week, the contractor suddenly came to fix those chrome barriers on all the stone benches at the concrete shelter. I wonder where have all the homeless gone to? I used to see quite a few of them sleeping there. It was a common sight. They must have gone elsewhere. But where? They just can’t simply vanish into the thin air? Really langgar!

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When I blogged about the homeless there, I was quite worried that this might happen. Whenever we bring up some problem or issue, instead of solving them – they just conveniently come out with a “killer solution” like fixing the metal barriers on the stone benches to prevent the homeless from sleeping there.

I was blamed by others for blogging about the homeless there. Indirectly, I “sabo” the homeless by depriving them a place to sleep. Not only I did not help them but brought pain and hardship to them. Have they solved or pushed away the homeless problem? Did I help them or cause them more headache? I don’t know. What do you think?

Did I commit a grave sin by highlighting the plight of the homeless there? Now I’m cursed by those homeless wretches. I feel bad now. I’m sadden by such “simple solution.” Another ingenious solution to solve our homeless sleeping in public places? Just like solving the night parking problem in HDB car parks by increasing night parking charges from $2.00 to $4.00? They are so fast and super efficient in solving the problems raised by concerned citizens.

Simple solution to complex problem indeed!

But this guy is even more creative. He overcomes the chrome metal bar using a chair to rest his legs, occupying half of the stone bench. May be the others will learn from him. It will be interesting to see how they are going to deal with them.

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The stone benches used to look like that which I blogged about two weeks ago.
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Below photo shows a new cleaner look without the homeless sleeping there anymore.
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Click here to read related article.

Click to read the online discussion at hardware zone.

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Pic from hardware zone

About Gintai_昇泰

I'm a Chinese Singaporean living in the Eastern part of SG. I tweet on current affairs & inspirational quotes. I blog on issues or events if they interest me. I also share some of the interesting jokes, stories or anecdotes from my friends or observations on my blog. Thanks for visiting my blog.
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47 Responses to Have they solved the homeless sleeping in public places?

  1. I have small solutions. I’ll leave it to you big guys to do the big solutions

    http://asingaporeanson.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/temporary-solutions-for-homeless.html

  2. pmg says:

    acherly, a lot of these “homeless” are not so. Sometimes they just don’t want to go home for various reasons. It could be cramped at home from too many people in one flat, naggy wife (so better to stay out after a drinking session), house is too stuffy (rental flats tend to be that way due to their design), mental illness (there’s an uncle that sleeps and urinate at a bus stop in my area, but he actually has a home, he just refuses to go home) or possibly some other reason I have yet to encounter.

  3. Lohcifer says:

    Your post today is referenced in my own post of today: http://lohandbehold.com/2012/08/08/happy-birthday-our-glorious-nation/

    I am not the “Lo and behold” person above who made the first comment on your post today.

  4. agongkia says:

    When someone says you SABO still not so bad.
    Those with special brain will take it that you are helping them to justify the installation of chrome metal bar on the seats which they already had in mind but worry someone will say they phuakay..You are helping them to justify that spending.
    But if those who need to sleep can sleep on the floor.More comfortable.Why on the bench.
    To me ,the spending on the chrome metal is just another phua kay.Cannot foresee problem when having such benches.But never mind,can recover from residents.

  5. Good Bye Lim Swee Say says:

    No wonder every body is saying East Coast GRC is the next to fall.

  6. newballs says:

    Well, they didn’t really solve the problem but ONLY confirm the PROBLEM….!!
    Really Langgar………………

    • Good Bye Lim Swee Say says:

      Ya lah!

      Let’s hope some one come out and clarify.

      Let’s just hope the homeless has been taken care of, and MCYS or CDC is looking into their issues.

  7. Good Bye Lim Swee Say says:

    But gintai, you’ve done a great job. I don’t think you’ve sabo them. If it’s a problem, it has to be fixed instead of idling around collecting million dollar salaries.

  8. JW says:

    Don’t lose heart.
    They’ll lose the PR war and will change eventually.

  9. Wonderful. Because of your kaypo, its now a lose-lose situation.

    The people now have to sleep awkwardly on the benches. And tax $ is spent by the Town Council to install the stupid chrome bars.

    In the end, the problem still not solved. People still sleeping on the bench.

    • JH says:

      you dumb cunt, he is at least trying to do something to make these affairs known and at least trying to help. Keyboard warriors like you have no right to comment on him. Why not you take your own money out to help this homeless before you speak? Typical Singaporean, can talk a lot, but when it comes to doing..*runs away*.

      • So complaining about homeless sleeping on bench, and the result is: them losing the ability to do that = ‘helping’ them?

        If they are not bothering anyone, or putting themselves in any danger, by sleeping on the bench, why stop them?

        • Carl D.G says:

          Did you even read the article he referenced to? If that is how you define “complaining” then sorry to say this but please redefine that notion of yours.

        • jack tan says:

          Do not blame Gintai for highlighting the problems. Blame the scholars at MCYS for sweeping the problems away by installing the seat barriers, ie if they have not help the homeless

          • Expensive price says:

            Law of Unitended consequences – get rid of sleeping places, hence no more problem. What u cannot see must not exist

            Reward supporters with installing new fixtures

            No more sightings – probl solved – same as previously at Sembawang beach. What problem where is the proof – brilliant solution!

  10. NoLongerBlinded says:

    Double confirmed! They are only interested in maintaining the image of a Singapore without homeless people. The plight of the homeless? – heck care because not in their KPIs.

  11. goon du says:

    There is always Pelangi Village for the homeless and is free.

    • Arya says:

      Pelangi Village is for single and destitute…and not everyone wants to stay there cos its like mini “prison”…. plus its not easy to get in either…if u have family members, they wont admit u in…

      • goon du says:

        Pelangi Village is not for single only. I had seen my friend went in before.

  12. salapow says:

    Have they solved the homeless sleeping in public places? NO! I don’t thinks so. If they had solve the problem, they won’t wasting money putting steel bar on the bench. Out of sight out of mind.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Should use the tax payers’ money wisely lah rather leaving a segregated barrier on the bench! This is a social issue to be solved by who?

    • Jeffrey Wong says:

      So we should use tax payers’ money to house or feed them? They should seek help in the CDC if they r hardworking.. only if they help themselves..

      • Bluex Spore says:

        Nobody’s saying to use tax money to house or feed the homeless. But why use it to install the bars? And how do you know they do not help themselves? Are you making wild accusations?

  14. Mickey says:

    Hello Kaypo PTO,
    Thanks for the thoughtful write. Yes I would say you did sabo them. But you did bring out the real facts of life these People are treating the homeless. They would rather go for short term solutions with the cheapest economics means.
    If it is for national goals, they are spending millions and billions of public funds. Care to write about them on the Olympics bronzes 2012, Gardens by the Bay …. The public money spent by them are humongous, a world first by any standards. BUT how much nationalistic returns do we get from these expenses (in terms of money, pride, love, care, passions, interests .. ) I would say that the more they spend on these areas, the more the cost of living goes up. WDYT

  15. patriot says:

    Gintai had ‘saboed’ the homeless with his First Blog about it. Now Gintai and You (asingaporeanson) have done further damages with the follow-up blogs.

    Now, let me humbly suggest one solution for the homeless to get get some sleep in order to be able to work efficiently the next day(if they have jobs) or to at least remain healthy or less sickly with sufficient rest and sleep.

    Donate or gave each a sleeping mat, sleeping bag or whatever foldable and easy to carry or keep. They can then find any place suitable to get their rest.

    However, sleeping at public place is an offence, my question is whether the Authority has enough place to house the homeless when and if the number gets overwhelming. Something for the Authority to ponder.

    Singaporeans MUST NOT wait for their Rulers to solve their problems; as evidenced by this Blog, they dont solved the Problem, THEY CREATE MORE PROBLEMS FOR THE SUFFERER .

    patriot

    • Le says:

      “my question is whether the Authority has enough place to house the homeless when and if the number gets overwhelming. Something for the Authority to ponder.”

      Some people like me just prefer homeless and i stay outside sometimes.. please dont care and ask stupid questions.. please do not build more house :(

    • ape@kinjioleaf says:

      ‘Singaporeans MUST NOT wait for their Rulers to solve their problems’

      patriot, ape fully agree with you on this statement. Singapore is not just for ‘the authorities’ and definitely not SingPAPore. Singapore belongs to all Singaporeans.

  16. Seriously, GinTai.

    Regardless if they are real homeless, or have a home, but choose to sleep on the bench.

    If they are not hurting anyone, bothering anyone, or depriving anyone a place to sit on the bench (unlikely a high demand for seats late at night), or putting themselves to any danger, why is it your business or any citizen’s business?

    Yes. It might be illegal to be a vagrant, so what? let the police do its job, if they are so free to do so.

    Its time to let sleeping people lie.

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  18. fatyogitoes says:

    Reblogged this on fatyogitoes and commented:
    Is Singapore that cold-hearted?

  19. WhyLikeThat says:

    Reminds me of Mr Brown’s blog where they removed the stone table & chairs from residents

  20. Anonymous says:

    I just hope your post would open the eyes of the authorities that such a problem exists and do something quick to fix it.

  21. ape@kinjioleaf says:

    Homelessness is an issue that the authority has to look into. No citizen should be left without a place to stay.

    However, do be a bit discerning. Sleeping in public places does not necessarily mean these people are homeless. Like what pmg wrote here. Some of them do have a home but choose to sleep on these public benches instead. It may be more cooling at void decks, it may be some family issues that they choose to avoid conflicts at home. Ape’s friend slept at the void deck bench once because he didn’t want to go home drunk (it was meant to be a short rest but turned out he slept through to the morning). Shocking it may sound, the ‘sleepers’ may be substance abusers, ‘high’ on cough syrups and other prescribed drugs. Of course there are the true homeless people, obvious by the ‘barang barang’ they bring along with them.

    Before we start criticizing Town Councils for ‘wasting taxpayers $$$’ for installing arm rest at benches, take a moment to think what should TC do when residents feedback that they are ‘concerned about the strangers sleeping at the benches at night’, ‘worried for the safety of their children’, ‘unhappy about how sometimes these people pee there’. Remove the bench? Tell police to step up patrol? Call all the relevant government agencies to take actions? Install CCTV? Or simply install armrest as deterrence and at the same time serve as hand support for elderlies who use them when they need to get up after resting on the bench.

    • Lohcifer says:

      Ape, well said. The relevant people need to look more closely into this phenomenon and get to the root of it. In any case, it is symptomatic of some underlying issues; issues which must be uncovered, and resolved.

  22. chlioe says:

    Yes, you did sabo them, even if your intentions were good. The lesson to learn is that heartless bastards are in charge and you should never give them an excuse to do more hurt. You could have left the details of where the benches were, and still highlight the issue. It’s possible that they were not homeless, but simply seeking space from their over-crowded homes. Suggest you make amends buy leaving cardboard cartons for them to convert into makeshift beds. That’s what they do at Tokyo train stations. Plus they have volunteers bringing food.

  23. Desperate people or hardcore thinking do’nt bother the rules of illegal sleeping at seats of voideck; or built tent on the beach; public garden;carpark etc. The authority officers catch them; they stilll doing the same things; sleeping anywhere their body and brain said it is the time to lie down. If the organisation like MYCA; YMCA; or other social service home for deprived one solved their problems; then they agreed to surrender and accept whatever advice to get the proper home or lodging to stay and sleep.

  24. I don’t think those fellows are really homeless. Otherwise, they would have some “baggage” with them. I’m quite sure they ascertained that before they installed the chrome bars.

    Whether we’re bloggers or journalists, any situation that is reported can lead to undesirable consequences for those we’re trying to help. Very often, we can’t predict the move that the authorities decide to make. You may think you’re helping them, but unknown to you, complaints could have been lodged by members of the public against them. Nowadays, people are vindictive and unforgiving. That’s why we’re seeing so many scandals. I remember during my school days, my VP told the teachers to punish poorly behaved students severely, but no record of it should be made in their report books. Their job was to reform these students and give them a second chance – not destroy their future at such a young age.

    During my NS days, my CSM was caught stealing from the soldiers’ cupboards. The CO called him to his office and quietly asked him to return all the stolen items – then resign. Society is a lot less forgiving today. Every mistake or problem must be dealt with “officially”. Transparency can be taken too far.

  25. Remy says:

    Hi Gintai,

    I guess you have provided the authorities with a unsightly event and a good solution which is found in your previous post. However, the authorities in SIngapore are smarter then the ones in China. The intention is well hide with a good purpose. LOL

    Remy

  26. Assumptions? says:

    Gintai,
    Did you talk to them and understand their background or ASSUME they are homeless and sensationalise the issue? Did you talk to the residence and see if they were the ones concerned with the safety of their family members when they see people sleeping at the void decks? IF not, you are ASSUMING, and sensationalising the issue. As someone pointed out, if homeless, there will be baggage and trolleys around…I have seen that before. But not in these pics posted. Many sleep there for many reasons….not because they are homeless. Maybe the next time you see such cases, why not talk to them and blog your findings?

    • Anonymous says:

      If u care to read the 1st blog – not this and examined the photos, you will notice ppl sleeping on bags as headrest. The homeless is also defined as 2 types : Those with homes but still want to sleep in public and those who got no home so no choice. Problem is that ppl like to assume and add salt, vinegar, sugar without reading carefully before they fire. There are many such ppl in this world. That’s why they will always be gullible ppl easily kena conned and cheated.
      Check before u shoot! Talk is cheap and easy. Who can’t talk? Whether they talk sense or not is another matter. Why not u do what u say? Then u give us ur findings and maybe blog abt it to rebut this blog?

  27. Anonymous says:

    the blog wins it all with the traffic

    • Anonymous says:

      U are right. Heard from Gintai that it crossed 10,000 hits already. He didn’t want to comment cuz he’s now drunk and swimming with beer! He’s enjoying himself lah.

  28. george says:

    This is another exemplary example of Singapore govt problem solving 101.
    The solution is by ensuring that the problem don’t exist any more. No different from chasing away homeless people who camped at Changi beach. Like fly swatting actually.

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  30. Alex says:

    The issue does not merely lie with the CDC, since the CDC is subjected to the pressures of residents too.

    Similar issues have been raised by “concerned” citizens:
    – Why build shelter for foreign workers around the Serangoon Gardens?
    – Why build nursing home for elderly at Bishan?

    Although they may have valid reasons for such concerns, it reflects an apathy that permeates the middle class and upper echelons of society. Inclusive society? A myth.

  31. musingsofasingaporeretiree says:

    Perhaps you should rephrase your question this way: “Do they know there are homeless sleeping in public place?”
    According to Lee Wei Ling: ” No matter how poor you are in Singapore, the authorities and social groups do try to ensure you have a shelter and food. No body starves in Singapore.(Sunday Times 04 Jan 2009)
    It would appear that Ms Lee does not know. So are her father and brother. Otherwise they would have done some thing to remove the eye sores

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