Homing in on youth

Homing in on youth

Following a private grant, The Hang-out can now provide more troubled young people with a safe place to work or play

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The Hang-out offers a safe haven for troubled youth.
The Hang-out offers a safe haven for troubled youth.
A youth service centre which was on the brink of closing down a few years ago has made a comeback. The Hang-out, run by Youth Outreach, is a 24-hour centre in Sai Wan Ho. It offers activities to vulnerable and/or troubled young people, helping them to get off the streets and to the safety of the centre.

In the Eastern District, where the centre operates, the number of young people arrested dropped from 89 in 2011 to 21 in 2012, according to the Eastern District Police.

Founded in 2002, the centre only re-gained momentum in 2011, after it received a HK$1.26 million grant from a listed company. The government grant provided to the centre ran out in 2006, when it was forced to raise its own funds."We were able to provide only night services at that time," said Youth Outreach's outreaching services assistant executive director, Ted Tam Chung-hoi.

The centre's financial difficulties interfered with its work.

Youth Outreach provides job opportunities to young people, and gives them training so they can leave their bad friends and reintegrate into society.

"On the one hand, [they] receive training and [can] get out of their current situation," Tam said. "[And] they can also help us to communicate with [and relate to] their peers."

Since receiving the private grant two years ago, Youth Outreach has employed 36 more young people, and has been able to add eight more youth positions to its staff list.

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