The Street Sleepers Shelter Society [1933- ]

Submitted by Admin on Sun, 02/26/2023 - 11:14

From p.225, Hong Kong by William Harold Ingram, published in 1952:

A Street Sleepers Shelter Society was founded in 1933 with the aim of providing shelter during the winter months for those who were too poor to pay for accommodation. The main shelter is the one in St. Peter’s Church at West Point, which we visited one night, and which is described later, but the Salvation Army also have a shelter for women at Wanchai, and there were 30 asleep on the bunks when we looked in there one evening.



As a schoolgirl she read Dickens. ‘It was because of that and other books’, she told me, ‘I had a great desire to visit the London slums, hoping that some day I could do social work in Hong Kong.’ One night when Cecilia took us on a tour of street sleepers’ shelters, she brought us to the abandoned church of St. Peter in West Point. It was about 11 o’clock, peaceful, silent and cold, and a solitary light lost itself before it reached the dark recesses of the roof. We tiptoed round, for all over the floor and on bunks, men, women and children lay in the deep sleep of exhaustion. There were 105 in that night. One woman lay pallid and fast asleep all unconscious of her child still suckling. Another lay with two small infants curled beside her. One alone seemed to be wide awake, a smiling old woman, busily, deftly, knitting a fishing net.

‘ This is where I used to come years ago,’ whispered Cecilia, ‘ cleaning their sores.'

From the modern website of the Street Sleepers Shelter Society Trustees Incorporated:

The Street Sleepers Shelter Society Trustee Incorporated provides free temporary accommodation to homeless, and has been registered as a charitable institution under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance since the year of 1952. We operate three shelters in Wanchai, Yaumatei and Shamshuipo and provide in total 226 bedspaces. The shelters are equipped with basic provision comprising double-bunker beds, shared bathroom, hot water and essential facilities, including fans, telephone and TV. Each resident would be allocated a bedspace and a cabinet, with a personal set of linen, blanket and bedsheet that he/she has to look after himself/herself. The Society is managed by a voluntary Executive Committee and therefore there is no administrative fee. All the expenditure is for the salaries of the wardens and operation of the shelters. Some may become homeless for various reasons, including financial and family problems. Owing to our simple admission procedure and free service, on the referral from social workers or relevant authorities, we may provide the needy with temporary accommodation immediately. The residents have to abide by the rules of the shelters. Our mission is to provide the homeless with a temporary shelter, and give them a chance.

Date organisation created
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