MALACCA: A home for Malacca’s homeless is appealing for help as it is in dire financial straits.
Pertubuhan Kebajikan Villa Harapan caretaker M. Thomas said they were finding it difficult to take care of the home’s 120 residents.
Villa Harapan was set up in 2010 as a halfway home for vagrants, the mentally challenged and senior citizens.
Thomas said various government agencies were sending people living on the streets to the centre and the cost of taking care of them is increasing daily.
“We have no choice but to come up front that we can’t cope with the escalating costs.
“The money we are getting is not enough,” he said, adding they have had to cut the staff’s salaries.
Currently, the home receives an allowance of RM8 from the Welfare Department per day for each resident.
The current hot spell has also contributed to rising costs as the elderly residents are often down with fever and body aches which need medical attention.
Thomas said when the centre opened, it only had 19 residents.
“The number kept growing and now we have 120 residents of all races, aged between 20 and 68 years.
“We are using a building given by the Malacca Historic City Council (MBMB) but we have to pay for all expenses, including utility costs,” he said, adding the home may have to close down.
“We may have to move the residents to other welfare homes if nothing is done to assist us,” he added.
The plight of the home has been brought to the attention of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron.
Idris said the situation could have been looked into immediately if those responsible had brought up the matter with the relevant authorities.
“I will look into their problems myself as it is not right for those staying in the home to be neglected,” he added.
To help, call Villa Harapan at 06-267 2822.