Stories of Mission30
“It’s never too late to start over. At 64, Huat Soon is starting over after spending half his life in prison. Once a curious and fearless young man who never thought about the consequences of his actions, he was first imprisoned at 21 for extortion. While that did not deter his rebellious ways, his parents never gave up on him. They were heartbroken to see him incarcerated, but they always believed in him and never lost hope.”
Unfortunately, his heroin addiction made it difficult for him to stay out of trouble. He found himself in and out of prison eight times, spending a total of 30 years behind bars. After his last incarceration, he managed to stay clean for five years until a relapse. Living alone, he gradually slipped deeper into drugs, even mixing heroin and ice. As addiction disrupted his life and sleeplessness took over, he began hearing voices. Despite efforts to quit drugs on his own, he realised he needed help. Turning himself in to the police, he returned to prison in 2021.
Things turned around when he was placed on the Day Release Scheme (DRS) and assigned to a counsellor from Lakeside Family Services (Lakeside). Supporting him in his reintegration journey, she conducted counselling sessions with him and encouraged him to pursue his interest in art. She helped him sign up for a ceramics class and his ceramic works have been selected for the Yellow Ribbon Community Arts Festival. His latest art piece was also presented to Mr Shawn Huang, Member of Parliament for Jurong GRC, who was Guest-of-Honour at Lakeside’s Cross-Island Walk.
Today, he is grateful for the support he received and the opportunity to turn his life around. With encouragement from his family and church, he is optimistic about his future and believes he can live a healthy and fulfilling life from now on.
Our work with ex-offenders like Huat Soon would not be possible without donors like you. Be there for them in their efforts to start anew by supporting the Lakeside Charity Gala. Sponsor tables, seats or donate here: https://lakeside.org.sg/mission30/charitygaladinner/