Meet Josiah, a Hong Kong citizen living at the grassroots. He moved out of home when he was young and fell in with a bad crowd, soon becoming a drug addict. Without a decent job, and having to feed his addiction, he could only afford to live in the most basic accommodation possible: a bed for rent with sliding, lockable doors, in cramped, shared rooms. For this ‘room’, not much bigger than the bed itself, Josiah paid HK$2,000 a month. For years, he lived here, wanting to break out of this lifestyle, but not knowing how.
“When you’re in a coffin house, you can’t change,” he told our staff. “We always quarrel there. People just shout. There is no order, no relationship with neighbours.”
It was a turning point in Josiah’s life when NGO ImpactHK reached out to him. The group has a focus on helping Hong Kong’s homeless, giving them counselling, goods to meet their basic needs, and helping them find a place to live. They helped Josiah find an apartment that he can call home. It’s just 70 square feet, but already Josiah feels a weight off his shoulders and a new optimism for the future. He can talk freely and peacefully with his new neighbours, he has more privacy and a better environment.
Crossroads became part of Josiah’s new journey when we helped him find a bed and chairs for his small flat. Some of our staff later paid him a visit at his new home and he told them how much he liked his new furniture and how grateful he was. What’s most remarkable to us, though, is seeing how these acts of kindness have profoundly affected him, moving him to ‘pay it forward’. The experience has given him a heart to give back, grateful for how he’s been helped by others.
Impact HK helped Josiah find a new flat. Crossroads helped him furnish it.
“If you need me to come and volunteer, just call me!” he said.
We love stepping into the story of individuals such as Josiah, helping equip Hong Kong NGOs as they serve tirelessly at the grassroots of our city.