#AskHabitat is our weekly Telegram initiative where we answer all your burning questions! In the past month, we addressed how we receive & choose our case referrals, what you should do if someone you know is hoarding, what might happen if we had no volunteers, and what happens to our homeowners after Project HomeWorks. Join our Telegram channel to receive the latest updates and tidbits on the work we do!
1. Where do you get case referrals and how do you choose homeowners?
The homeowners that we serve come from social workers who dial into our office or fill up our case referral form on our website. These social workers may come from family service centres, senior activity centres or even social service offices.
After submitting information about the homeowners, our staff then liaises with them and meet the homeowner to identify what kind of works is needed.
The majority of our homeowners served are elderly Singaporeans living in one or two-room rental flats. They often live with medical conditions and have little or no social and financial support.
2. I think someone in my neighborhood is hoarding, what can I do?
Realising your neighbour might have a hoarding disorder can be quite daunting and frustrating, but it is important to remember that hoarding is a highly complex disorder and we may not fully understand the underlying reasons for why or how they got into such a predicament.
If you have the capacity, you can try to befriend them and understand their reasons behind hoarding. Identify potential areas for support.
You can also reach out to various family service centres or social service offices within your community and notify them about these homeowners who might need help and they can begin the process of aiding them. You may also use the OneService app to link them up with relevant support.
Never try to act on your own and discard their items as this may build distrust and they might be put off from being helped by anyone in the future.
3. What happens if there are no volunteers?
Without our passionate volunteers, the amount of homeowners we can serve will dwindle. We would have to rely purely on staff which might result in increased costs and less time to think of better ways to help our homeowners.
Thanks to our volunteers, we have been able to touch the lives of over 4,600 families since 2004.
Currently it is difficult for us to recruit new volunteers but we are constantly coming up with new ways to engage them while activating staff and HomeWorks Champions to serve urgent homes.
We truly look forward to seeing all of you on the ground once again. Always remember there are so many other ways to contribute, like advocating!
4. What happens to homeowners after Project HomeWorks?
Before accepting cases from our partners, we always ensure that they have a long term plan in place to take care of our homeowner even after we are done.
After serving our homeowners we will then inform our partners that we have done and highlight anything we might have noticed about the homeowner to ensure that their well-being for them to follow up on.