- POSTED: 20 Sep 2013 11:24
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The new Social Service Office in Jalan Besar has been handling about 800 cases since it began operations on July 1, and 70 per cent of the cases require financial help.
SINGAPORE: Already serving residents in Kallang, Rochor and Novena, the Social Service Office (SSO) in Jalan Besar was officially opened on Friday.
The office was launched by Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim.
The SSO is located at the Jalan Besar Community Club along Jellicoe Road where there are many needy elderly residents living in small-sized flats.
Dr Yaacob said residents' feedback has been positive as the SSO is conveniently located near an MRT station.
He added the profile of the central district is largely low income and elderly.
As MP of the Kolam Ayer division, Dr Yaacob said he refers about 20 per cent of the cases at his Meet-the-People sessions every week to the SSO
"We have a system whereby we immediately fax over the cases that very night… so when the SSO office opens, they know they're expecting this particular individual or family to drop by and therefore they can prepare what are the things that need to be done to assist them," said Dr Yaacob.
About 800 cases have come through the office since it began operations on July 1.
Among these cases, 70 per cent of them require financial help.
Dr Yaacob said: "Financial assistance is largely what is needed because they are basically elderly and low income but we are beginning to see families with young children because we do have a couple of interim rental housing flats within our constituencies and GRC, and therefore we need to go beyond just the financial assistance to ensure that they transit to permanent housing.
"We work closely with the HDB branch office here to make sure that there is a plan for them to move on to permanent housing. Then we work with WDA (Workforce Development Agency) to ensure that they have employment assistance because they need permanent jobs or stable jobs.
"When they have young children, we work with the Family Service Centres and the grassroots organisations to offer tuition classes with the self-help groups so that the kids are tended to in terms of their educational needs."
The Social Service Office's general manager, Mrs Sharon Chua, expects the number of cases to increase by about 10 to 20 per cent a month.
Mrs Chua said residents' feedback has been positive, as they found the office conveniently located within the Jalan Besar Community Club.