Sarawak’s Homeless Getting Attention During COVID

KUCHING: The welfare of the homeless people in Sarawak will continue to be given attention even while facing the threats of COVID-19, said Sarawak Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.

She said her ministry along with its strategic partners had carried out integrated and targeted operations to identify the homeless community that needed to be rescued.

“During our check around Kuching yesterday, we found 10 homeless people who are in good health and we will continue monitoring them especially during this COVID-19 situation,” she said in a statement here today.

Fatimah said, during the check, they had also identified several homeless hotspots around the city, such as near the Kuching Waterfront, Jalan Pandungan, Pending and Bintawa Demak.

The minister said starting this year, her ministry will also develop a social intervention directory for the community involved in social problems in Sarawak, which include the homeless, to enable efforts to tackle the problems be made in an integrated matter by referring them to the relevant agencies.

Meanwhile, Fatimah said between 2016 and 2019, her ministry had succeeded in rescuing 276 homeless people in Sarawak, while in 2020 alone, 193 were rescued.

During every check on the homeless, she said the ministry would also distribute packed meals, sleeping bags and personal hygiene kits containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, towel and soap.