St Barnabas' Society and Home, founded in 1987, provides services to the poor and homeless in Western and Kennedy Town districts on Hong Kong Island. Today, they have several centres around Hong Kong Island. I volunteered there for a fortnight, learning a lot about homelessness in the city, and was fortunate enough to speak with three regular members of their main drop-in centre, in Sheung Wan.
The hardest part of the interviews was formulating questions that would be insightful but not insensitive. In the end, the resulting discussion illuminated their common hopes for the future, struggles with work, and love for music.
When did you find out about Saint Barnabas’?
I was born in Hong Kong, and grew up in Kowloon. I’ve been involved with Saint Barnabas’ for around 10 years now. I’ve made lots of new friends.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
Definitely Korea. I’ve always wanted to visit.
What do you usually do in your free time?
I like travelling, hiking, camping, barbecuing, and basketball. I like to exercise a lot – I used to be a boy scout when I was younger. I also love karaoke. I don’t often sing, though, since I’m worried that people won’t like it.
I don’t have a job right now. What makes me happiest is charity work. I try to help people a lot, and I usually help to lift things.
What is the greatest struggle you face right now?
Nothing at all. I like life.
How do you want people to see you?
I just want to be seen as a person with morals. No need to be rich or famous.
To learn more about St Barnabas, including how to volunteer there, visit http://www.sbsh.org.hk.