I’m not asking for anything from anyone, I’m just reflecting the past six months of my life.
It was the worst period of my life and it all started on the worst day of my life – my birthday, last July, in 2017.
On the day of my birthday, I woke up to hugs and kisses.
I have my family telling me that they love me, I was thankful to have the people who I love to love me back.
But I didn’t know that will be the last day and the last photo I will be having inside the place I used to call home.
I left the house to buy some food and when I returned, all my belongings were outside.
There was a new padlock, I didn’t bring the keys as I was only out for a while.
They were at home but they refused to open the door for me.
With all my belongings along the corridor, I sat and cry not knowing what to do.
My neighbours saw me, words spread fast, people came and helped me to take care of my stuff.
They told me that things will be fine, I need to be strong and focus on my scholarship trip.
I wiped away my tears, took whatever I need in my luggage and went to the airport.
The flight was delayed, in the past, I would have someone to text or to call.
That night, I cried at Changi Airport, for there was no response, no help, no one…
After I returned, as my belongings were with my various friends, we have to gather everyone together to sort out what I need and what I can giveaway.
It was hard, my friends became the ones who sort out the items because I can’t bear looking at them.
When I handed my stationeries to the children, I smiled and told them to take good care of them yet turned around to walk away with tears flowing down my cheeks.
Since then, I’ve been renting places at various part of Singapore to survive.
Four beds in a room 🛏 Apparently, the law "minimum 6 months rental" doesn't apply to me 🙄 It's been more than 4 months. The experience of sleeping in void decks, hostel, dormitory, rental flats, public housing, private condos, landed property etc… is life changing. 1) At void decks, animals can sense that you're feeling sad and just lay by the side of your feet without begging for food 😶 2) At hostel, there are many duties that one has to do like checking in customers, prepare their beds, doing the laundry and even selling of items 😐 3) At dormitory, you've gotta sweep the floor, mop after sweeping, clean the toilets and cook meals for the workers staying there 😓 4) At rental flat, each unit can only stay at most two people, which means those flats with three or more and subletting are illegal 🤐 5) At public housing, the house doesn't belong to you as you're a tenant who is dumb enough to rent it at a decreasing lease period while playing property tax 😏 6) At private condo, the living condition is as per the live videos I posted on Facebook which varies depending on the monthly management fee 🤑 7) At landed property, it's supposed to the best one can ever stay in Singapore, however, there're lotsa spiders, grasshoppers, and snakes too 😲
You may be thinking, why don’t I seek assistance?
You think I want to be homeless?
You think I didn’t try?
First, police were called – 999.
I was shocked when they said, it’s normal for a family to throw their daughter out after they’ve passed the age of 18.
The parents have no more obligation to take care of the child and it’s none of the police’s business as it’s not a criminal offence.
Second, AWARE was called – 18007775555.
Unfortunately, they don’t have any shelter at all, what they provide is counselling service.
All they could do is talk to you over the phone and hopefully, you’ll stop crying before they need to knock off after the office hour.
Third, SOS was called – 18002214444.
The phone is always engaged, it seems that many people are calling the number, I totally gave up.
My friends brought me down to the location, but you’ve gotta make an appointment and they only provide counselling service, not shelter.
Finally, ComCare was called – 18002220000.
They spend two weeks trying to persuade you not to make a formal application to seek help, you’re to go to your family, you relatives, your friends or another other human being you can talk to, but just don’t go make a formal application with them.
After two weeks have passed, that’s when you will be listed formally as an applicant, but that doesn’t mean that you will get a shelter immediately.
It only means that your name is now written in that list, which is a long list that will take at least another two weeks to clear.
Apparently, its normal to have families throw their daughters out after they’ve turned legal.
The argument is that at least they didn’t kill them when they were a child and at least they weren’t physically abused, or at least not badly.
There is a total of 9 homeless shelters in Singapore that were built for girls who fall into my category.
Because I’ve got friends who are helping me and I do not have any physical injuries on my body, I do not qualify for any of the homeless shelter.
I don’t even know if I should be thankful that I wasn’t badly beaten up or not, maybe if I was injured, I could have a shelter.
In the end, ComCare told me to go get a part time job to pay rent and be like this for the rest of my life.
The good news here is, I’m not the worst case in Singapore.
There are not just 10 or 100 but at least 1,000 Singaporeans who are worse off than me, if I’m seeking comfort statistically.
It reminded me of the news where at least 28,500 young Singaporean women mostly, aged between 19 and 33, including university students are becoming sugar babies.
I comfort myself by telling myself that at least I’m not at the homeless shelter, at least I’m not restricted by curfew.
Yet at the same time, I feel really sad to know that there are girls who are in a worse situation than I am and I really wonder how are they overcoming it?
I saw Singaporean girls working as “au pair” which is kinda like a maid, and resorting to being a sugar baby or social escort… I thought someone once said Singaporean “women will become maids in other people’s countries, foreign workers. I cannot have that!” but that’s what’s happening right now.
During this period of time, I crashed at various people’s houses.
At void decks, animals can sense that you’re feeling sad and just lay by the side of your feet without begging for food 😶
At hostel, there are many duties that one has to do like checking in customers, prepare their beds, doing the laundry and even selling of items 😐
At dormitory, you’ve gotta sweep the floor, mop after sweeping, clean the toilets and cook meals for the workers staying there 😓
At rental flat, each unit can only stay at most two people, which means those flats with three or more and subletting are illegal 🤐
At public housing, the house doesn’t belong to you as you’re a tenant who is dumb enough to rent it at a decreasing lease period while playing property tax 😏
At private condo, the living condition is as per the live videos I posted on Facebook which varies depending on the monthly management fee 🤑
At landed property, it’s supposed to the best one can ever stay in Singapore, however, there’re lotsa spiders, grasshoppers, and snakes too 😲
Anyway, I’m very thankful for the people who have helped me the past 6 months, I’m really very grateful to you.