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Social Service Offices to be set up at 5 HDB towns

Social Service Offices (SSO) will be set up at five Housing and Development Board (HDB) towns by the end of this year.

SINGAPORE: Social Service Offices (SSO) will be set up at five Housing and Development Board (HDB) towns by the end of this year.

The towns are Clementi, Yishun, Bukit Panjang, Taman Jurong and Serangoon.

The specific locations of the five SSOs are in the process of being identified.

They are part of the 20 SSOs that will be rolled out across the island over the next two years.

Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing gave the update on the sidelines of the official opening of the eighth SSO, which is at Chua Chu Kang.

The SSO@Chua Chu Kang has already been in operation since December, and some 250 people have sought help so far.

They include elderly with poor family support and single parents.

SSOs administer social and financial aid under the national Comcare Scheme.

Since the opening of the first SSO in Kreta Ayer, Mr Chan said more connections have been made between local community partners.

For now, the specific locations for four other SSOs which will open by the middle of the year have been identified.

The SSO@Ang Mo Kio will be at Ang Mo Kio 3G Centre, the SSO@Bedok will be at Blk 426 Bedok North Road, the SSO@Queenstown will be at MOE Heritage Centre and the SSO@Sengkang will be at Blk 261C Sengkang East Way.

Mr Chan said: “On one hand, there is a bottom up approach of looking at where they stay, looking at their travel patterns or where to site the SSO.

“On the other hand, there is a macro top down perspective to see how we spread out the entire network to make sure that 95 per cent or more of the people in need will be able to get access within two kilometres either near the place of work, along their place of travel or where they stay.”

Each SSO has its own local planning team which walks the ground, and collaborates with other social services in the area.

The SSO in Chua Chu Kang is working with family service centres to find out more about the profile of the needy in the area, and develop programmes which can help them.

Ms Lim, 52, a beneficiary of SSO@Chua Chu Kang, said that last month, she approached Chua Chu Kang CC to ask about financial assistance for her and her bedridden husband.

The staff at the CC then referred her to the SSO@Chua Chu Kang.

She said: “The officer who interviewed me was very friendly and helpful. She listened to my problems and promised to help once I give her my documents.

“I didn't have it then, so I actually came back to see her the next day to pass her the documents. It is very convenient, as I can stop by the SSO on my way to the market." 

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