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Hope everything is good with you. I am writing to request for some help for a friend who is in dire straits.
I have known him for more than 30 years. He is 51 years old. He was my schoolmate in secondary school. He was very talented as he played hockey for school and also for Singapore in the Junior World Cup in the 70s. However, he came from a broken home and his life started deteriorating after he was discharged from regular service in the SAF for a health problem.
He was living with his dad. When his dad passed away he was left alone as he did not get along well with his siblings. He started taking drugs, got caught and was sent for rehabilitation. Upon discharge he was doing some sales jobs for survival and then one day he got arrested for shoplifting. He spent a few years in prison and was released about 6 months ago.
He had purchased a resale flat under the single’s scheme but as he was in prison and no one was taking responsibility for the flat, the flat was repossessed by HDB and the funds were transferred back to his CPF account.
Ever since his release from prison, he has been sleeping on park benches or under flyovers. I bumped into him one day when he came to the temple for free food at Bt Merah. He told me he had all his meals there as he had no source of income. He has recently been offered a place to stay by an ex-acquaintance in his rental flat in Beach Road but I understand from him that the acquaintance is a drug addict and also stores drugs in the house.
As such, my friend is afraid that he may get into trouble with the law again and he also can’t afford to move out on his own. He lost everything he had and I have just helped him get back his NRIC after which I plan to help him retrieve a copy of his GCE “O” level result from MOE. He attained 2 ‘O’ levels.
He is desparately in need of some counselling and the assistance with finding a job. Based on my recent interaction with him, he feels quite hopeless and worthless. It is a sad state for someone who once was a confident national junior hockey player.
I would be greatly appreciative if you could arrange for someone to attend to him and give him some counselling and if possible, job search assistance.
Do feel free to contact me if you should have queries or clarifications on the matter. Thanks and regards
Editor’s Note: We have arranged a counsellor to assist the person concerned and a F & B employer has also made him a job offer. He is considering the $1000/month position as a kitchen assistant.