With World Homeless Day approaching on 10 October 2016, ‘Our City, My Story’ hopes to connect some of the thousands of individuals experiencing homelessness in Hong Kong with the wider community through photography. Inspired by the creative initiative launched by Cafe Art in London last year, 3 friends saw the need to bring this project to life in Hong Kong as the first one in Asia, after learning that the number of individuals affected by homelessness has almost tripled in the past decade from 600 in 2004 to 1,614 in Oct 2015 (Homeless Outreach Population Estimate, HK).

Over the past 7 months, the team met with local charities and went to numerous hand-out programs to identify individuals to take part from different parts of Hong Kong. They were given disposable cameras and encouraged to take photos of their daily lives, from their morning commute to street scenes in their local neighborhood. These photos were then developed to reveal what Hong Kong means to them, uncovering personal stories that were documented by the team and proving that their situation is anything but one-dimensional.

Hong Kong is considered Asia’s world city, yet the wealth gap is becoming more unbridgeable. While the project will not singularly resolve homelessness, the team hopes to change society’s perception in a collective effort with the various charities and welfare groups who are actively creating initiatives to provide relief and find solutions to address the issue.

“If these photos can move people to rethink how they feel and show empathy next time they cross paths with someone who’s sleeping out on the streets that night, then the work that’s gone into this project has been all worth it”, the team says.

More info: ourcitymystory.com

“I have been staying under this footbridge for more than 10 years”

“I work 6 days a week to make sure my children can finish school”

“So much has changed over the years. There’s going to be a new commercial building here”

“We met this cat a few years ago and she has become our pet”

“This is one of the oldest pawn shops in my neighborhood”

“One of the places that has remain unchanged over the years is the wet markets down the road”

“I have always felt at home here in Sham Shui Po”

“This was taken during a church service by the beach”

“I know the stories of many people who pass by where I sleep every day”

“This was taken on a quiet Sunday morning during a walk by the park”

“That building over there is the library, where I’ve been going to every day for almost 2 years to read all the books I can”

“I like catching the tram to visit the places where I used to work in the 1970s”

“I’ve lost contact with my daughter over the years. I need to return to my home in Thailand as a different person”

“I want to find a steady job and earn my living”