Cover Find out how you can donate to ImpactHK’s fundraising (Photo: Kevin Liu)

ImpactHK aims to raise HK$1,000,000 for the city’s homeless by December 24

As 2021 comes to a close, we’re spending another Christmas in the midst of a pandemic. While many of us have undoubtedly been affected, Hong Kong’s homeless have also suffered from the pandemic. According to a recent study by ImpactHK and other non-profits, there has been a 20 per cent increase in the number of homeless in Hong Kong due to the pandemic. Now as winter approaches and the temperature drops, they are the most likely to be affected.

To help with this, ImpactHK—a non-profit helping Hong Kong’s homeless—is launching a crowdsourcing campaign for both short and long-term help for people experiencing homelessness. It aims not to only support their accommodation but also to help them get back on their feet and into long term employment. With a target of HK$1,000,000 from now until December 24, people can donate directly via SparkRaise, with all proceeds going directly to the charity. The target is an increase from last year’s HK$300,000.

“We believe that everyone should have a place to call home—safe housing is a basic human right. But every night in Hong Kong hundreds of people are sleeping on the streets, as the temperatures drop”, says Jeff Rotmeyer, founder and CEO of ImpactHK. “Last year unemployment was at a 16 year high, and now we are seeing the knock-on effects, with more people outside due to covid—as well as more women than ever before,” he adds.

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Among those that ImpactHK helped is 59-year-old Ah Jo, a former photographer. “Life on the streets was difficult. Those strange stares from passersby made me feel so uncomfortable. Being homeless forces you to lose any hope for the future; my plans were destroyed, and I felt depressed and useless.” Now, he works as a sports assistant at ImpactHK.

Based on the homeless census study that ImpactHK carried out earlier this year, the main reason for being homeless was that the rents are too expensive. While meals and shelter are vital, Rotmeyer says that employment is much more helpful in the long term.

“Employment gives people purpose, and the right job can end homelessness. Access to work can create real, long-term change, empowering people to be independent. We need Hong Kong to come together to help us reach our target by Christmas eve so we can give these people a second chance, hoping that 2022 will be a fresh start for all”. 

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ImpactHK is accepting donations until December 24, 2021. To make a donation, please visit SparkRaise.

 

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