Homelessness: Research and Interventions


In rejuvenating KL, the homelessness problem was researched to construct interventions based on the needs of the individuals. To achieve this, stakeholders such as NGOs, government players, academic researchers, and homeless individuals were reached out to and three actions were identified.

Expertise: Resilience, Analytics

Services: Social Resilience

Flagships: Climate & Social Resilience

Keywords: Homelessness, Analytics, Research, Intervention

Project Premise

Think City’s homelessness projects started with research to inform subsequent interventions that adopted novel methods to try and address homelessness.


What We Did

The homelessness research and projects involved key stakeholders working on homelessness from the beginning. This includes working together with NGO partners, government players, academic researchers, and homeless individuals themselves in identifying challenges and crafting solutions based on these needs.

From the research conducted:

  • At least 245 individuals experiencing homelessness answered the Registry Week Report, providing insights on challenges faced using the Vi-SPDAT survey tool which measured levels of vulnerability of individuals. This was co-funded by Actyvate.
  • At least 20 NGOs working on homelessness were consulted one-on-one or in group settings for feedback and opinions
  • Multiple ministries and government bodies, including DBKL, Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, JKM, and Ministry of Federal Territories were consulted

Three actions were identified to mitigate the homelessness problem. One was to investigate the feasibility of the Housing First model in Kuala Lumpur, for which a White Paper was then written. The second action was a pilot Community Connect project, which sought to develop a local ecosystem providing jobs and support to homeless individuals in the area. This pilot was implemented by Yellow House and managed by Think City. Out of this pilot project, one individual was successfully employed, re-housed, and reunited with family. The third action was the development of the Homelessness Services Registry – a database of services provided for individuals experiencing homelessness. This was done in collaboration with NGOhub, and built on a database started by Kedai Jalanan UM. The database is now completed and available at NGOhub’s website.


Project Outcomes

  1. Developed greater understanding of homelessness as a complex, multifaceted challenge, which needs larger systemic solutions
  2. Cross-sectoral collaboration and dialogue on the matter was fostered 
  3. Identified that leaving homelessness is possible with the right support