KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 (Bernama) — State governments have been urged to set up transit homes for the homeless like the ones in Kuala Lumpur to help the government tackle the problem of the homeless in the country, the Dewan Rakyat was told Thursday.
Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister, Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun said besides registering the homeless, these homes also provided short-term solutions to these people such as homes and jobs.
“The ministry hopes that local authorities in other big cities will emulate its efforts to resolve the problem of the homeless within their jurisdiction,” she said.
She was replying to a question from Datuk Othman Abdul (BN-Pendang) on the ministry’s efforts to register the homeless throughout the country and what aid was provided to them.
Azizah, who is also the Member of Parliament for Beaufort, said the Kuala Lumpur Homeless Transit Centre in Jalan Pahang began operations on Feb 10 with a capacity for 250 people.
She said it was a strategic collaboration between the Federal Territories Ministry, Kuala Lumpur City Hall, the Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad and non-governmental organisations.
Besides the transit centre, she said the homeless were also registered under the destitute rescue operations by the Welfare Services Department.
“From January to December last year, a total of 1,527 destitute persons were rescued with Selangor, Penang and the Federal Territory recording the highest numbers, at 413, 280 and 215 persons,” she said.
In addition, she said, the registration of the homeless persons was also conducted by Anjung Singgah, a one-stop intervention centre conducted by the National Welfare Foundation.
She said Anjung Singgah, with the cooperation of the government and non-governmental organisations, provided temporary accommodations, food and counselling services as well as welfare aid.
“Anjung Singgah, which was set up in Kuala Lumpur in 2011, has been extended to Kuching, Johor Bahru, and Penang. The foundation is in the process of setting up two more such centres in Ipoh and Kota Kinabalu.
As of January this year, a total of 3,215 homeless persons sought the services in the four Anjung Singgah, she said.