Francis Ng, a 44-year-old restaurant owner from Singapore, is being praised for his compassion to help give warmth to homeless people during the cool season in the country.
It all started when Ng, who owns the House of Seafood in Punggol, came across a homeless man shivering as he tried to sleep on the streets of Chinatown a couple of weeks ago, according to The Straits Times
This urged Ng to help the less fortunate in Singapore as the temperatures ranged from 21.7 degrees Celsius (71.06 degrees Fahrenheit) to 23.1 degrees Celsius (73.58 degrees Fahrenheit).
The restaurant owner began distributing free blankets on Thursday, Jan. 4, helping out people sleeping on the streets of Tiong Bahru, Redhill and Toa Payoh. So far, Ng has given out more than 100 blankets.
On Jan. 12, the National Environment Agency (NEA)
reported on Facebook that the Jurong West experienced a low temperature of 21.4 degrees Celsius (70.5 degrees Fahrenheit) due to continuous rain brought on by a monsoon surge.
The lowest temperature ever recorded in the area was in 2013 when it reached 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit).
On Jan. 13, the restaurant owner reportedly delivered nine blankets to mostly elderly men in Chinatown, where some of them slept on benches and reclining chairs.
Others made do with just a piece of cardboard on the ground to make it through the night.
“Some of them are regulars here, they know how to move around and sleep only late at night to avoid the police and social workers,” Ng told The Straits Times.
After handing out blankets, some of the homeless people would strike up a conversation with Ng, while others went back to sleep.
“If not for this blanket, I would be very cold,” carpenter and odd-jobs worker Chua Yong Sia said of the blanket given to him by Ng.
According to the 61-year-old man, who has been sleeping on the streets of Chinatown for the last three to four years, about 10 to 20 people sleep in the area every day.
“I just hope that by doing this I can make a difference in my own small way,” Ng said.