1. Our Stories
Brother Collin Wee, in his more than 30 years of experience as a counsellor, has identified an unmet social need facing youth of ages 16 and above. These youth who face different societal and family pressures, need temporary residency to keep them safe and off the streets. They require nurturing care and guidance to help integrate them back into their families and to society.
Here are a couple of stories.
Fictitious names are used to protect the identities of the subject, but the stories are real.
1.1 Chee Seng’s Story
Chee Seng just turned 16 years old when his father passed away.
A “feng shui” master blamed Chee Seng for his father’s passing. Alarmed and in haste, his mother packed and left for her hometown in Malaysia, leaving Chee Seng abandoned and alone in Singapore.
Left to fend for himself, Chee Seng found a job at McDonalds and ‘stayed’ at Changi International Airport. No one knew he was a diabetic.
One day, his illness flared up. Fearing for his life, Chee Seng jumped into a taxi and asked to be taken to a hospital. He had no money but he requested for details from the taxi driver promising that he will pay him back when he got better. At the hospital, the kind taxi driver instead contacted MSF to help the boy. MSF in turn asked Brother Collin to assist.
Chee Seng was young, abandoned and sick. He had committed no offence; where else could he go for refuge, food and counselling?
1.2 Hock Guan’s Story
Hock Guan (not his real name) was a rude and difficult youngster, always in a lot of trouble. Through a referral from MSF, Brother Collin gave him shelter and took on his case, never giving up. He knew that the bad behaviour was due to a very challenging family background. He counselled Hock Guan for over a year and encouraged him to focus on building a new life.
When Hock Guan turned 19, Brother helped him to enlist for National Service and with his NS allowance, to live on his own.
For a few months after, there was no news from Hock Guan. When he unexpectedly showed up one evening, Brother’s heart sank as he thought: “Oh no. What trouble is he in this time?”
Instead, Hock Guan took out his wallet and shoved $200 into Brother’s hand and said, “Take this money, and help other boys like me.” He had saved the money from his NS allowance.
Brother Collin could not contain his joy. The once troubled, difficult youngster has found Hope and was truly on the path to a meaningful life.
The true accounts magnified the following needs:
• A shelter for troubled youths between the ages of 16 years and above. This is the most vulnerable and critical age group as it is the final stage before they enter adulthood and the working world.
• Family pressures and societal challenges have added new dimensions to the problems of families at risk. These require the help of professional and experienced counsellors and family therapists.
• These youths need Hope. Whilst no one can change what they have experienced, they deserve a second chance to become “useful” members in society.
HopeHouse is a response to the societal need for such a shelter. As the name suggests, hope offered through refuge and counselling, gives the youths a second chance at reshaping their dreams and goals in their journey toward a better future.
2. Our Friends and Our Partners