A Post Of A Homeless Man Goes Viral

Breaking Update: We are sure that Humans of Singapore meant no ill intent but apparently this story is false – the man is not homeless. A Shin Min Daily News reporter has clarified the story and it was also covered on this blog. The blog went on to say that the photographer could not speak Mandarin well and misunderstood what was said. Uncle Chung was talking about a homeless man, not himself.

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The Facebook page Humans of Singapore documents the lives and quirks of the people who live on our sunny shore. On Monday, the blog moderator posted a photo of a homeless elderly man who sleeps on a piece of cardboard. The post soon went viral with at least 1,000 likes and shares.

Often, the page moderator interviews the people he has photographed. Here’s what the homeless man had to say:

“I’m 71 years old. I got no house, so I put cardboard on floor and sleep here. Sometimes I work and get money to pay for one night at someone’s place and clean my clothes. But sometimes it rain, so you wake up and got clothes still wet, but you wear them still, because what can you do?”
“Uncle, what sort of job do you do?”
“Different job. Once a day at 7pm man come and drive us to Keppel. I drive jeep or van and carry heavy item. I get 15-20 dollar every day I work, but sometimes if got no work then got no pay. So every day have to budget and eat. But the man don’t care if we earn or not, he only take us there and bring us back to Chinatown.”

“Uncle, do you have any family here?”

“I had one family very old but he died right here 3 days ago after falling asleep, no one know what happened. I call police. They come, take report. Other time when people die and you call them, they ask you to come to station, write report and name, and sometimes you get 50 dollars for reporting. Happened 4-5 times already in Chinatown, cannot remember any more. Money very hard to come by you see.”

“Then how do you manage?”

“Eat carefully, always eat 1 dollar bread in morning. Spend about 15 dollars a day, and sometimes sleep at friend’s house, so okay already.. But best day is when you get extra job to fix someone’s car because they don’t know how to fix. That day you get 25 dollar extra. And then you know what you can buy for breakfast? Roti Prata!”

Help For This Man Comes Through Social Media

Many people who saw the post volunteered to help:
homeless
Since then, the moderator has set up an Indiegogo campaign to help this man, as well as the other homeless people in Singapore. He has also updated his Facebook page accordingly. At press time, the campaign has since raised $700, and it looks like the amount will increase.

Poverty In The Spotlight

Like the Sim Lim Square incident where more than $10,000 was raised to compensate a Vietnamese man, this move goes to show that Singaporeans are kind and not as mean as others have thought them to be. This post also puts the issue of poverty in the spotlight—we do not often hear about these people in the news, so it’s good that awareness has led to help, donations, and people volunteering for the cause. We’re hoping that this homeless man will find a home of his own, and that more help will be given to bridge the rich-poor gap.

With reference to Facebook
Featured image via Facebook