Centre to train the homeless

Annuar distributing the first batch of rice to the urban poor under the MyBeras@Wilayah programme.

FEDERAL Territories Ministry and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) are setting up a training centre with an urban farm for the homeless.

Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said homeless men seeking temporary shelter at the Sentul Perdana Community Centre amid the present movement control order would be relocated to the training centre by Feb 28.

He said the homeless shelters had in the past focused on job matching for the homeless to get them employed.

“At the new centre, those who could not land a job would be tasked to cultivate and care for the urban farm to generate income.

“There are about 200 homeless men at the shelter in Sentul and the new centre has a similar capacity, thus will be able to accommodate all of them, ” he said after announcing the awards, honours and medals for recipients in conjunction with the Federal Territory Day celebrations in an online press conference.

Annuar said the number of homeless people in Kuala Lumpur was slowly growing despite various efforts to get some 1,000 people picked up from the streets at the start of the MCO last year, to stand on their own feet.

“I had visited Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Pudu, which are among the places where the homeless stay, to see the situation and speak to the them personally.

“I found that some of them were actually not homeless and they were only there for the free food provided by the non-governmental organisations.

“However, it is undeniable that there are still homeless people in the city, ” he said.

Separately, Annuar witnessed the distribution of rice bags at Sri Pentas in Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya under the Myberas@Wilayah programme, a subsection of MyFood@Wilayah in the Urban Poverty Programme (5MY) announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to benefit the low-income group.

Annuar estimated that between 20,000 and 23,000 families would receive a bag of rice monthly for the next few months or according to the government’s capacity.

He further said that the programme would see more than 5,000 bags of rice distributed weekly.

He highlighted that the Myberas@Wilayah programme was open to the public to donate to the cause.

“Due to overwhelming response from private companies that have pledged to donate, we will be able to distribute more rice to those in need.

“Distribution will be done by community leaders, namely Federal Territory Residents Representative Council members, to avoid crowding and long queues.

“Home deliveries may also be possible as we have a list of eligible households in our records, as well as those in the Welfare Department and Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council records.

“We have identified 178 poverty-stricken localities to focus on, ” he added.

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