Taipei City social workers still available during spring festival holiday: BSC

The China Post news staff

Social workers will still be available in Taipei to help those in need throughout the Chinese New Year holiday, said the city’s Bureau of Social Affairs (BSC) yesterday. A total of 28 social workers will work shifts to answer the “1999” hotline to provide assistance, including emergency monetary aid and house calls, the BSC said. Tung Fu-chuan, an official with the BSC, noted that after a fire that occurred in Taipei�s Zhongshan District last year during Chinese New Year, the bureau’s social workers were able to help hospitalized victims. Citing another case from last year, Tung said the “1999” hotline received a call from a man who was contemplating suicide. According to the official, the social workers immediately visited the depressed man, and informed his family living outside of Taipei. His family then took him home for a family reunion and the social workers performed follow-up visits after the holiday.

In other news, The Taipei International Flora Expo will remain open to the public throughout the Chinese New Year holiday. On New Year’s Eve, the expo was closed earlier than usual at 5 p.m, but visitors received a free ticket for an afternoon visit on another date. From Thursday to Monday, the daily opening hours will remain from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., the expo organizers said. During the holiday, the number of visitors is expected to top 100,000 daily, said the event’s spokeswoman, Ma Chien-hui. More workers have been assigned and more shuttle buses scheduled for the holiday period, she added.