The Guest Room

A Hong Kong blog that does a lot more than blog

Free Laundry for the Homeless in HK

If you’re following ImpactHK on Facebook you’ve definitely seen a post about our expanding free laundry initiative.   
If you’re not following us on Facebook, please do! Search, “impacthkcharity”
Our website won’t be ready for a few more weeks so we primarily use FB these days to get the word out about our events and what’s going on.   

We’ve now done well over 100 events and word of ImpactHK keeps spreading throughout Hong Kong.    
For a while now I’ve been receiving lots of messages from people leaving HK and wanting to donate some clothing.  
Almost always I gratefully accept, unless it’s primarily female clothing, to which I suggest other great charities like Refugee Union, Vision First or Pathfinders.  
However over that time we have received and handed out a ton of clothing to the homeless in Hong Kong.   


Handing out clothing is a lot more challenging than handing out water or snacks. Styles and sizes range so greatly and I think very rarely do you match up a piece of clothing with the right recipient.  
In addition to that challenge we do almost all of our Kindness Walks at night. It’s not easy to see for either party.  
It just became increasingly obvious that this clothing donation setup just wasn’t working. 
We’d hand out clothing and see it in the rubbish the next day.   
If the recipient did love it, he’d wear it for a good run and then eventually just have to throw it out as well. Washing clothes is way too big of a job when you’re living on the streets.   
This is when I came up with our free laundry initiative.  
The concept is simple. We found laundry shops in areas near homeless communities. We gave the laundry shops a large deposit and created free laundry cards with the map, restrictions and expiry date on it. We pass the cards out to the homeless and explain how it works.  
They take their laundry with the voucher to the shop and get it washed for free. The laundry shop totals the amount and we pay at the end of the month.  
We now have this system working in Sham Shui Po, Yau Ma Tei and North Point. I’d estimate we serve roughly 200 homeless people combined in those three communities.  
Now if they have a favourite piece of clothing or sheets, they can go get it washed and cleaned for free.   


Having clean clothes is definitely not enough, but it sure can be a catalyst for change! It gets them out and puts them in a public setting as a patron again.  
It can give them more self worth and possibly give them the confidence to spend more time in places like the library or a restaurant during the day instead of staying in the park where drugs are rampant.  
I’m so excited about this initiative! It’s another piece of the puzzle and it will compliment our other job creation initiatives nicely.  
However as a charity solely focussed on supporting the homeless, we do still need to provide them with more clothing and bedding. 
Our new plan is to do this at day time events such as our, “SOMETHING”, event on the 25th June.  https://www.facebook.com/events/1346241618800096/?ti=icl


At this event we’ll have a great chef cooking up meals for the homeless and elderly in Sham Shui Po. We’ll also have amazing hair stylists doing haircuts and we’ll be passing out drinks and soap donated from the charity, Soap Cycling.   
In addition to that we will have a free clothing area where people can pick the style and size of clothing they’d like. We’ll also pass our free laundry tickets to compliment their new clothing on that day.   
If you’d like to join us on that day and help pass out donations or donate clothes, please do! 
Hopefully this gives you a clearer idea of what our free laundry programme is all about! If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please let me know! 
As always, thanks so much for your support!! Let’s see where WE can take this!! 
Cheers!
Jeff 

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This entry was posted on May 30, 2017 by in Uncategorized.

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