City takes measures to help the homeless

Hu Min
Street patrols were being intensified in key areas of the city from Tuesday night to help homeless people with food and shelter throughout the winter chill. 
Hu Min
City takes measures to help the homeless
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

The homeless rest at the temporary shelter of the Shanghai South Railway Station on Tuesday night. 

City takes measures to help the homeless
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A homeless eats instant noodle at the shelter on Tuesday night. 

Shanghai's civil affairs authorities intensified patrols on streets and key areas from Tuesday night to help homeless people get through the winter chill. 

A mechanism with joint efforts by civil affairs, police, urban management and health authorities has been initiated, the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau said, with particular attention paid to seniors with dementia, the mentally ill, those with medical conditions and children. 

For those do not want to go to shelters, free hot water, instant noodles, and quilts are being distributed with cards containing contact details of shelters attached.

At Shanghai South Railway Station, a temporary shelter has been set up and there were around 10 homeless people there on Tuesday night. 

"It is the first time that the temporary shelter is set up at the station and we have prepared enough items such as clothing, quilts and food for the homeless," said Li Yueping, deputy director of the railway station’s management committee. 

"We work 24 hours in case they seek help at midnight," said Li. 

The shelter will remain open until January 3.

A homeless man surnamed Wang, 45, was at the shelter on Tuesday night. 

The Hunan Province native had come to Shanghai several weeks ago to look for a job. 

"My business failed in my hometown due to the pandemic and I have to make a living," he said. "I want to try my luck in Shanghai but I have not found a job so far."

Wang has lived on streets near the railway station for weeks. 

"It is warm here," he said. 

Another homeless man surnamed Pan from Jiangsu Province was eating instant noodles at the shelter. 

"It is rainy outside and chilly," he said. "Here is much better."

Pan said he was alone as all his family members had left him and he had no place to live in his hometown.

Shelters in the city provide homeless people with free meals, showers, accommodation and medical treatment, and operate 24 hours a day all year.

Residents, sanitation workers, bus drivers, cab drivers and nighttime security guards, are encouraged to call 110, 962200 or 12319 if they see homeless people in need of help.

Shelters in the city have stepped up the application of technologies such as face recognition to identify homeless people and beggars who are lost and help them return to their families, the bureau said. 

At the Xuhui District Emergency Management Bureau, officials were monitoring the situation of streets via real-time images on Tuesday night. 

"The technology enables us to provide emergency help to needy people on streets once abnormal situation is detected," said Jiang Yong, deputy director of the bureau. 

City takes measures to help the homeless
Jiang Xiaow / SHINE

Tea service at the shelter

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