Snoozing spot: A homeless man resting under a bridge in Kuala Lumpur.
KUALA LUMPUR: There will be a new lifeline for homeless people following Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) plans to set up a multi-purpose centre for them.
“The homeless issue has long been causing problems to DBKL. This move is expected to get them to shift from various pockets within the city and centralise them in one location,” said mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib.
“We have noticed that there are many types of homeless people such as those who are drug addicts, foreigners, abandoned senior citizens and single mothers.
“There are also people who are homeless because they chose this way of life. Some of them have jobs but prefer not to rent a place because they want to save money. So they take shelter under the bridges.
“With this centre, we can organise all of them in one place,” he said.
The plight of the homeless people was given extensive coverage yesterday by The Star, which also highlighted the organisations that have been trying to help them.
Ahmad Phesal said the proposal came about following a meeting with other parties such as the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, Social Wel-fare Department, Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department and NGOs.
“At the moment, we are identifying a suitable complex. We have earmarked several buildings along Chow Kit Road and Lorong Haji Taib for a proposed acquisition,” he said.
He said that NGOs which carried out soup kitchen programmes would also be relocated to the centre to ensure DBKL could carry out better cleaning operations.
“At the moment, the homeless who receive food regularly from these NGOs would throw empty packets, styrofoam and leftovers all over the place, making cleaning up an arduous task,” he said.
He said a daycare centre might also be set up in the complex to cater for single mothers who have children with them.