Two Catholic churches in Singapore have opened their doors offering housing to the country’s homeless.
The Church of St. Mary of the Angels in Bukit Bato and Church of Christ the King in Ang Mo Kio are offering a place to stay overnight for homeless individuals referred to them by Catholic Welfare Services (CWS).
Those who come are given space within parish classrooms from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. and provided fans, beds, and pillows. The Straits Times reported that Christ the King Church has housed an estimated 25 people so far.
According to the Straits Times, the initiative was originally brought about by CWS in January last year to help the homeless population suffering from the cold. The project has also partnered with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).
“The MSF is working with some religious groups that have expressed interest to open up their premises to the homeless after they have completed ongoing or upcoming renovation works at their premises,” read a statement from the ministry according to Straits Times.
“We are also partnering with community groups active in befriending and engaging persons who sleep in public places, to strengthen our outreach so that we can better coordinate support for them, understand their circumstances and work with community partners to resolve the issues.”
Although Singapore is one of the world’s richest countries, homeless do exist. The Ministry of Social and Family Development in the country says it assists close to 400 homeless individuals per year.
Established in 1959, CWS provides help to the homeless, elderly, and youth. For the last five years, the organization has handed out food and drinks to homeless people on the streets. It has also offered unemployment services and supplementary food to low income households.