Sultan Mosque is set to be the first mosque in Singapore to provide a place for the homeless.
This initiative is a collaboration between the almost 200-year-old mosque and the Ministry of Social and Family Development's (MSF) Partners Engaging and Empowering Rough Sleepers Network (PEERS).
The mosque joins four churches, a temple and a charity in providing a place for the homeless.
Fitted with fan & mattress, bottled water provided
According to a report by BERITAmediacorp, the homeless can seek refuge in these places from 10:00pm to 7:00am the next morning.
It is described as clean and spacious enough for five people to rest.
The room is also fitted with a fan and five new sets of single-sized mattresses and pillows. Free bottled water can also be found at one corner of the room.
To use the shelter, the homeless simply have to find a security guard from the mosque and register, before using the space.
Would not disturb mosque-goers
The space, however, isn't located in the main building or prayer hall of the mosque.
Instead, it is located in the Annex Building. More specifically, a multi-purpose room at the basement of the said building.
The mosque has also assured members of the public that this new initiative would not disturb nor obstruct mosque-goers, as the room can only be accessed via the side entrance facing Kandahar Street, and not the main doors of the mosque.
The people staying in the room would also face little to no risk of becoming a victim of crimes, as the room will be locked by the security guards while they rest.
Only for men, regardless of race or religion
For now, the space will only cater to homeless men, regardless of race or religion.
An individual can only seek refuge in the mosque for a few nights.
After which, MSF will connect them to government agencies or other social services that can help them find a place to stay.
In an interview with BERITAmediacorp, social development officer for Sultan Mosque, Muhammad Aizuddin also said:
"The issue of homelessness in Singapore is rising. Masjid Sultan feels responsible to prepare a sleeping space that is safe and comfortable for them while they wait or look for a permanent place for them to stay."
Top image by Joshua Lee