Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS IMPACTHK’s MISSION STATEMENT?
To transform the lives of the homeless and give them a second chance.
WHEN DID THIS ALL START?
Originally we never had the intention of starting a charity. Three years ago we had the idea of doing one kind act per month for the homeless.
This act became quite popular which gave us the opportunity to make a greater impact.
We progressed to doing two walks per month, to four, and so on.
To make a long story short, we are currently doing close to 30 walks per month in five different locations and ImpactHK officially became a registered NGO in March of 2017.
HOW CAN I HELP?
As a new charity there are so many ways to get involved and help out!
The easiest, by joining one of our Kindness Walks. We need your help in serving the homeless on the streets where they stay. This is where we initiate connections and build trust. You can sign up for all Kindness Walks on the Hands On HK site. Just click this link!
We are currently in need of men’s clothing, bedding and towels.
We are also collecting single use and reusable bottles. We wash them, fill them up with filtered water and the distribute to the homeless with an ImpactHK invitation to the Guestroom on each bottle. When possible we also collect empty bottles from our homeless beneficiaries.
We are currently raising funds to help us pay for the opportunity for the people we serve to get off of the streets and into homes. Our costs include rental deposits, first month’s rent, real estate fees and transport.
We also need money to employ these individuals.
Every dollar counts!
On this website you can give a one time donation, or a recurring one.
As a registered NGO, we can give tax receipts for every donation over $100HKD.
We currently need help in administrative work and fundraising.
WHERE DO YOU DO YOUR KINDNESS WALKS?
We are currently serving five different locations where the homeless are consistently staying; Happy Valley, Sham Shui Po, Shau Kei Wan, Fortress Hill and Yau Ma Tei.
WHAT IS A KINDNESS WALK?
The name pretty much sums it up! We walk and show kindness to the less fortunate by serving them with food, drinks, toiletries, clothing and more.
The aim of these walks is to build trust through familiarity. The homeless in the areas we serve recognise us and know that we care.
Some individuals are ready to share their stories. We develop friendships and start planning a path for change.
CAN I BRING MY CHILDREN ON A KINDNESS WALK?
Yes you can. We have had many younger children join our Kindness Walks and it has been a meaningful experience. We suggest taking them to one of the walks on Hong Kong Island at first because you’ll see considerably less drug use and the walks are shorter.
Currently almost all of our walks are in the late evening to accommodate more of the homeless.
We will soon add more day walks and weekend walks.
WHAT IS THE GUESTROOM ?
The Guestroom is a safe place for the homeless to visit where they can get food, drinks, new clothing, laundry services, haircuts, use the computer, and more. We will also run a number of support programmes including counselling, sports, nutrition and language learning. We also have a community fridge.
The Guestroom is also a place of employment for our a Community Helpers.
WHAT DO YOUR COMMUNITY HELPERS DO?
Once we get individuals off of the streets and into homes, we hire them to work in the Guestroom as Community Helpers. Their job is to show kindness and support to the homeless and poor. This job of showing love to individuals in need is rewarding and greatly rehabilitative.
WHAT IS YOUR COMMUNITY FRIDGE?
Outside of the Guestroom we have a community fridge that is open for the public to put excess food in and also open for people in need to take from.
So far we have seen the fridge getting great use from many, including elderly street cleaners, a community we care greatly for!
WHAT MAKES ImpactHK DIFFERENT FROM OTHER CHARITIES HELPING THE HOMELESS?
Where do we start?! For one, we are a charity built on the care of hundreds of kind and passionate volunteers who are so dedicated to helping the homeless in Hong Kong. Our numbers bring power and an opportunity to create massive change.
Also we have a clear vision which all starts from kindness, building trust and friendships.
And it’s the friendship connection that is the most important for ImpactHK.
We don’t believe that giving someone a job or an apartment is enough.
That’s why we also provide more support through counselling, mentorship, financial counselling, and activities.
However the glue in all of this is our friendship with the individuals we support.
They need to know that they have us in their life as a friend and we aren’t going anywhere.
CAN I JOIN A WALK IF I CANNOT SPEAK CANTONESE?
Yes!! In fact a large percentage of the homeless we serve in Hong Kong are not Cantonese speakers. ImpactHK has such a strong community of volunteers that at most of our walks, multiple nationalities are represented, and luckily we always have at least one Cantonese speaker.
DO YOU SEE THE HOMELESS PROBLEM GETTING WORSE?
On our first evening supporting the homeless in Sham Shui Po we served roughly 70 individuals. These days we are supporting around 130.
It’s extremely hard to get an accurate number of homeless people in Hong Kong because so many of the homeless don’t go to their sleeping spaces until very late at night.
We are seeing dozens of individuals forced to sleep in McDonald’s and other doorways. We are also finding out stories of many individuals sleeping in staircases.
HOW MANY HOMELESS PEOPLE DOES IMPACTHK SUPPORT?
In the five areas we serve there are roughly 400 homeless people.
WHY ARE PEOPLE HOMELESS?
The best way to answer this question is to flip it and ask, why are you not homeless?
You have a family? You have a true friend? You have a job?
Do you have someone you can count on no matter what?
The truth is, there are so many different situations and stories ranging from mental health issues to the crazily expensive cost of property. But no matter what, to us it’s clear that people become homeless because they simply don’t have a true friend or someone they can count on.
We know that with our good friends we would do everything in our power to never let them get to the desperate situation of having to sleep outside.
We believe the greatest commonality amongst all the homeless people we’ve met is that they do not have a person that they trust enough to care for them.
Now we can already hear the naysayers to this saying, “Well they tried to help him!” or “He could do this or that!"
But these statements all come with massive assumptions. The truth is that just because you think something is a solution to a problem, doesn’t mean that it was received that way.
Recently we thought we had the right path to help a homeless individual get off of the streets and into a new life.
We had the apartment ready and we promised to completely support and work with him on building his health and confidence.
But he said no and elected to remain homeless.
Now many people responded to that situation by criticising him. Some called him lazy. Some called him crazy.
But the conclusion we’ve come to is that we didn’t have the most important ingredient of our recipe strong enough.
This individual didn’t completely see us as real friends with him. He didn’t see us as that person who will share laughs and holidays together.
He didn’t see a future that was more promising than his life under that bridge. And it’s our responsibility as a charity to find that friendship and trust with him.
Everyone deserves and needs a true friend.
Kindness Matters! Thanks for your support! ❤️