Tuesday September 18, 2012
Homeless gets chance to turn life around, thanks to Anjung Singgah
By WONG PEK MEI
KUALA LUMPUR: A temporary shelter for the homeless has given a man and his teenage children a chance to turn around their lives.
Hasanuddin Abdul Rahman, 47, said he had been sleeping in the streets for a week after moving here from Kedah when he stumbled upon Anjung Singgah.
“I was worried about how I was going to survive every day and was concerned for the welfare of my children. I am thankful that I can now bring in some income after the National Welfare Foundation helped me set up a burger stall in Medan Tengku,” he said during an event for the homeless organised by the foundation at the shelter in Jalan Hang Lekiu here.
Hasanuddin, who has been at the shelter for seven months, said he had to move into his family's home in Kedah with his three children after his wife passed away 10 years ago because he could no longer afford rent.
“But I was thrown out due to a family misunderstanding after staying there for nine years,” he said, adding that he then decided to move here because he wanted to enrol his two daughters in a religious school for girls.
“I wanted them to continue their studies. My 18-year-old girl previously had to stop schooling because I could no longer afford her school fees,” he said.
Today, Hasanuddin's two daughters stay at their school hostel while his son remains in another religious school in Kedah.
“I hope to be able to have a home to call our own soon and take care of my kids,” he said.
Anjung Singgah, managed by the foundation, is a one-stop intervention centre taking in the homeless for up to two weeks. However, in some instances, they have been allowed to stay longer and given more time to get back on their feet.
The foundation's board of trustees chairman Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said between April 9 last year and Sept 17 this year, 626 homeless were registered with the shelter with 223 having found jobs.
On another matter, Shahrizat, who is also Wanita Umno chief, called the Opposition's decision for Selangor to hold separate polls a “cowardly act”.
“They have realised that public sentiment is starting to favour Barisan Nasional. If they are confident, then they should do it together with the rest of the states,” she said.
Shahrizat also said she would discuss with Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaludin on joining the planned massive protest against the anti-Islam movie, Innocence of Muslims, on Friday.