Homeless in Hong Kong

“The more people who know about this situation will result in more people caring and it’s so important that we open up more eyes to the struggles of our neighbours.” Jeff Rotmeyer, Founder, ImpactHK

How many homeless people are there in HK?

This is a question we are asked so many times.

In order to answer this question, we must first understand that the HK government does not call them “homeless”. They are called Street Sleepers and in order to be registered as a Street Sleeper these individuals have to go to a government facility, get in the queue and declare themselves as homeless.

Impact HK -- supporting homeless in Hong Kong
Photo credit: Sean Creamer Photography

And for doing so, they get no extra financial support or real opportunities to help them get out of their horribly difficult and painful situation.

There are less than 2,000 registered Street Sleepers in Hong Kong, which when compared with cities abroad, seems small in comparison.

In our work with the homeless over the past three years we have learned that the vast majority of the homeless on the streets were not and are not registered with the government.

In fact when we once asked 22 formerly homeless friends if they were registered, only six of them were.

Impact HK -- supporting homeless in Hong Kong
Photo credit: Sean Creamer Photography

The thousands of people who are homeless on the streets are constantly being told to go away, to go somewhere else without knowing where to go.

They are alone and without hope and are either hiding or hidden.

Impact HK -- supporting homeless in Hong Kong
Photo credit: Sean Creamer Photography

When you see this coffin home, would you consider that a home?

Is a caged home a home? Is an illegally build shack on a rooftop a home? Is an illegal space without electricity, ventilation or windows a home?

We have hundreds of thousands of people in Hong Kong living in spaces that are unsafe, inhumane and illegal. Yet we are told to accept this and told that homelessness isn’t a big problem here.

Impact HK -- supporting homeless in Hong Kong
Photo credit: Sean Creamer Photography

It is. And the people we meet outside are hurting the most.

At ImpactHK, we work with individuals who’ve attempted suicide repeatedly. People who are alone and broken and see no possible way out.

It’s our job as a charity and community to do all we can to stand up for this huge community in need.

And although the challenge is immense, we see so many positive results and solutions daily.

We see people who were on the brink of death now working full time with us, laughing and engaged in our family, and spending their days giving back to others in need.

We see females who, abused, broken and alone, are now safe and supported and feeling cared for for the first time. We see formerly homeless friends that we’ve helped and employed in our new co-living spaces having dinner parties at their new homes.

Impact HK -- supporting homeless in Hong Kong
Photo credit: Sean Creamer Photography

I am not trying to be all dramatic.

I just need to convey how horribly sad and difficult life is for too many in Hong Kong.

This is not acceptable.

This is not a time where we should be focused on adding to the population. We have a huge population here who struggle daily and their lives matter.

If you’d like to support ImpactHK, as we continue to grow and improve our services and community, please consider one of these 3 options

  1. Donate to our feeding program. $100 pays for 10 meals
  2.  Start a recurring donation though our website: impacthk.org
  3. Sign up for one of our daily Kindness Walks on our website calendar
  4. Also please share this post.

The more people who know about this situation will result in more people caring and it’s so important that we open up more eyes to the struggles of our neighbours.

Thanks for your support.

And have a great week.

Jeff Rotmeyer

Founder

ImpactHK

Impact HK

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