PHOTOGRAPHY – Home Street Home: Homelessness in HK by Lei Jih-sheng

Whilst HK goes nuts over an inflatable duck, 1,200 of its citizens are facing another night without a roof over their heads. The Society for Community Organisation (SoCO) says that the numbers are increasing. Many of these people make up HK’s ‘working poor’, earning a median wage of $3000-5000 – not enough to cover rent.

Last month, the anti-poverty NGO collaborated with Art Walk to present a series by local photojournalist Lei Jih-sheng…

His photos document people sleeping rough in Mongkok, Tsim Sha Tsui and Sham Shui Po – many suffer from multiple problems; psychiatric, medical and personal…

There are no specific HK laws which forbid sleeping on the streets but the government targets the homeless by clearing personal belongings and even using loudspeakers at hourly intervals at night to clear areas like the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront.

Previously, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department adapted water-sprinkers to target homeless people in Tung Chau Street Park.

Ah Ho, Ken, Dick, and Ah Wing at a short-term street-sleepers shelter

Corrosive antiseptic powder was sprayed in the area to cause itching. In recent years, handles have been installed on benches and uneven stones and decorations placed under flyovers to prevent anyone from sleeping there.

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“If I don’t drink, I would remember the old days and cannot fall asleep… For protection of my own safety, I would believe in anything” – Ah Lun.

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SoCO has assisted 10 street-sleepers in suing the government over their treatment.

Lei Jih-sheng was a winner at Amnesty International’s Human Rights Press Awards. He has volunteered with SoCO since 1999.

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Some of the homeless people featured at the exhibition attended its opening…

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Via China Daily.

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via China Daily

A video by Yanni Zhang, Vicky Feng, Wendy Luo and Phyllis Lam about a Sham Shui Po street sleeper who is one of 35 others residing near the Jade Market…

What are the causes of homelessness in HK?

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‘Poverty Amidst Plenty’ – related posts on Hong Wrong…