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In Response to Declining Temperatures, the Ministry of Health and Welfare Urges City and County Governments to Reinforce the Care Provision to the Homeless

  • Data Source:Ministry of Health and Welfare
  • Created:2015-12-17
  • Last Updated:2017-01-10

A cold air mass from China has recently passed southwards over Taiwan. The Central Weather Bureau has announced a drastic drop in temperature in numerous regions and the widening of the daytime and nighttime temperature difference. The Ministry of Health and Welfare sent a written announcement on the 14th of December 2015 to various city and county governments urging them to activate low-temperature care mechanisms and reinforce the provision of care to the homeless. By collaborating with private welfare organizations, persons who desire to should be accommodated at a shelter or temporary refuge from the cold. For persons who do not desire accommodation, patrols should be reinforced, and the provision of warm clothes, sleeping bags, and hot meals should be regulated to help homeless persons withstand the cold. As of the 17th of December 2015, hot meals have been served to 1,454 persons, warm gears have been provided to 1,785 persons, and 135 persons have been located to shelters. 
The Ministry of Health and Welfare asserted that in order to help underprivileged persons to have a safe and happy new year, it hosted a meeting on the 16th of December 2015 to collaborate with city and county governments, as well as private organizations, for the preparation of relevant matters, while also reminding cities and counties to plan ahead low-temperature measures for the homeless. In accordance with the “Increased Care to Underprivileged People During Low-Temperatures and the New Year Holiday Period,” when temperatures drop below 10°C, local governments shall activate their care measures by combining the resources of private organizations and allocating private resources, volunteers, social workers and the police force to elevate the care for the homeless and underprivileged people, including telephonic greetings, propagating information on keeping warm, establishing hot meal stands, issuing warm clothes and sleeping bags, and providing bathing services and shelters. 
Director-general of the Department of Social Assistance and Social Work, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Ms. Mei-Chen Lee, urges community members to care of their community and help the homeless residents, particularly old or weak people. Community members may report such people to the city or county social services offices or dial the Ministry of Health and Welfare consultation hotline at 1957 to promote the early intervention of government and provision of private resources to these individuals.