Here for Good?
Leo Luk, 16th-August-2015, Urban Nomads,
It was another rainy day, unfortunately. We spent the second day of the Social Lab experiment to interview various stakeholders in the Sham Shui Po community regarding homelessness issue.
Personally I have volunteered myself, supported my friends to engage in community services serving homeless, and worked with NGOs serving the district in my career. Therefore I have tried to move from a position interacting directly with homeless people in the community, and talked with other citizens nearly.
We have interviewed some other people with certain involvement — someone working nearby for thirty years, someone taking care of the park which homeless people spent their evenings, and someone taking the initiative to serve them directly and indirectly.
It perhaps is no surprising that the NIMBY mentality happens with some of our interviewees as well — as long as they keep at distance to their daily lives, they just don’t bother. Government should do more? Probably, but they do not think they are in a position to comment (someone else could propose though)
On the other hand it is while we got some really positive and constructive feedback from those who serve the crowd — they did also add an important footnote there — it is their decisions to stay out there, and they are the only ones to help themselves should homeless be really a problem. It loops back to an advocacy from SOCO (a HK NGO alliance) that whether staying out on the street should be legitimate. It challenges some perceptions in the general public that homeless is a social problem and it should be eradicated.
I don’t really have an answer yet, but I would try to discuss more with others in the community and my team in next couple days to try figure it out.