(16 Mar 2019, Hong Kong) The Salvation Army and the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) held the ‘Community Housing Movement – To Kwa Wan Project (Home Plus) ’ Launching Ceremony on 16 March 2019, an occasion for tenants to share their co-living stories and for expressing gratitude to the Government and the commercial sector for their support in creating a caring society. Dr Raymond So Wai-man BBS JP, Under Secretary for Transport and Housing, General Secretary, Major Tommy Chan of The Salvation Army Hong Kong and Macau Command, and Mr Chua Hoi-wai, Chief Executive, HKCSS were the officiating guests.

Transitional housing has become a new way out for relieving grassroots housing problems. The Salvation Army launched the To Kwa Wan (Ha Heung Road) Project last year. The project provides a total of 53 dignified, hygienic and safe living units for co-living at affordable rents for grass-roots families and low-income young people. Over 200 persons have benefited from the Project.

‘This Project is tripartite collaboration among the Government, the business sector and the community put into practice that helps the grassroots people regain hope for the future. The Army will make various arrangements for the tenants, such as orientation classes and co-housing planning, to help them fit into the new environment and enhance their problem-solving skills to deal with challenges in future,’ said Major Tommy Chan, General Secretary of The Salvation Army Hong Kong and Macau Command.

Reignite hope for the grassroots

The Salvation Army ‘Home Plus’ Project not only aims to provide a livable environment for its tenants. By incorporating the Army’s concept of holistic ministry, our Family Support Centre of Social Services Department, church and Family Store join forces in providing services and support to the tenants helping the tenants to build a mutually supportive network. The Project also connects people with the community and invites tenants to offer their skills and abilities back to the community.

‘Work Exchange’ and Serve the community

Through the concept of ‘Work Exchange’, young tenants of the ‘Home Plus’ project living with other grassroots families can serve the community in exchange for affordable rental. They are invited to join the house management team to come up with new ideas for improving their co-living space. By taking part in the preparation of other activities, the young tenants may build a sense of belonging to their community.