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CBC Shelter FAQs

In April 2020, local charities called on businesses, religious organisations and individuals to help take in the homeless during the circuit breaker, as shelters for the homeless hit full capacity. Responding to this call is one possible way to obey the Biblical instruction to love the vulnerable in our midst.

“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard." (Isaiah 58:6-8)

This is a joint initiative between Mount Carmel BP Church and The Bible Church. The leaders of both churches have endorsed the use of our worship premises to house the homeless. We are in extensive consultation with Clementi Woods Kindergarten throughout the process.

An intergenerational team comprising staff and volunteers from both churches has worked hard to obtain the required permits from the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI). This team is also responsible for planning and running the CBC shelter.

We are accepting referrals of potential stayers from case workers at Family Service Centres (FSCs), Social Service Offices (SSOs) and MSF.

We have also been learning from churches such as Yio Chu Kang Chapel (YCKC) that are running similar shelters for the homeless.

We have on-the-ground hosts and a Shelter I/C who will oversee the welfare of the stayers, our procurement and food teams who ensure their access to sleeping facilities and three meals a day among other provisions, and our security and medical teams looking into security and Covid-19 precautionary measures. We also have teams overseeing admissions, social services, pastoral care, communications, finances, the legal aspect, and post-Covid planning.

Our current commitment to house the homeless stretches to the end of the circuit breaker period to help relieve the urgent need for shelters, as articulated by the government and non-government organisations.

They are referred to us by the government and/or social agencies stated above. For a start, the CBC shelter will take in male Singaporeans or permanent residents (PR) who are 18 years old and above. The demand for shelters by homeless men is higher at present, and CBC is more able to readily respond to these needs. As our processes and capacity improve, we may consider widening our reach to other segments of the population.
We do not permit walk-ins. All stayers are strictly referred by the designated social agencies that we are working with.

Stayers are briefed on a set of house rules as part of the admissions process. They will be informed that there are security systems, such as CCTV cameras, in the building. They will only enter and exit the building when a volunteer host is present on site to open and close the security gate. The code will not be released to stayers.

Valuables belonging to both churches will be kept in locked rooms.

We take all security concerns seriously and will continue to revise them as necessary. But we also understand that the vast majority of stayers with other church shelters have been very responsible, suggesting that security is not a major concern. We should also be even-handed and examine any preconceived notions about the homeless, lest it blinds us to the needs of the people God brings to us.

Presently, we are starting with a conservative approach. All stayers will be housed on level 4 of CBC, and each room will only house one stayer at a time. All stayers must adhere to all measures recommended by the Ministry of Health in connection with Covid-19, including safe-distancing, twice-daily temperature-taking, wearing of masks on-site and outside their rooms, and adherence to good personal hygiene practices. These rules will be made clear to them upon admission and are affixed on the wall of each room. We will continue to review these measures as the situation and the needs evolve.

We have also designated one room on level 3 as an isolation room should a stayer need to be quarantined. Our volunteer doctor will oversee such cases. We are prepared to take strict measures should there be any suspected Covid-19 cases.

All volunteers will wear masks on site and record their temperature upon entry to CBC.

It is the stayers’ decision as to how involved they wish to be with the church. Materials such as bibles and tracts are available and provided for their reading. Our role is to keep loving, bear consistent witness, and seek to grow in our compassion.
We will keep the church updated on our needs, so stay tuned to this page as well as our Telegram channel and Facebook page.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we are currently limited in our movements and are unable to recruit more on-the-ground hosts. If you have ideas on how you can contribute remotely in creative ways, we’d love to hear from you! Drop us an email at cbcshelter@carmel.sg

In the meantime, we would appreciate your prayers! 1) Praise God for this timely opportunity to do His work! Pray that we can be a channel of blessing for those in need of shelter and food. 2) Pray for the stayers to experience God’s presence, providence and comfort. 3) Pray for the safety, strength and health of the stayers and our volunteers. 4) Pray for unity and rapport within the team and with the stayers. 5) Pray for the volunteers to seek God’s heart and walk in the Spirit every step of the way.

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