Some homeless people have resorted to sleeping inside columbariums, Eastern District Councillor Andy Chui said.
In a post on his Facebook page, Chui said he had decided to verify reports that an old couple were staying at Cape Collinson Crematorium in Chai Wan.
After searching for two hours, he said he found a man sleeping at the corner of a staircase inside the columbarium.
The street sleeper did not seem to have sufficient clothing and provisions, Chui said, noting that he only wrapped himself with black plastic bags.
Chui gave the man a sleeping bag and left him his name card.
The man repeatedly said he does not need any assistance and insisted he is the only “occupant” at the site.
Chui urged fellow citizens to reflect on the plight of homeless people in an apparently prosperous city like Hong Kong.
Volunteers from charities and non-governmental organizations said some homeless people may have decided to live in crematoriums because the place is tranquil and they could partake of the food being offered to the departed by relatives, Ming Pao Daily reported.
Government restrictions on street sleepers have also driven many of them to move to remote locations where they will not be bothered by law enforcers.
As of June 2016, the Social Welfare Department has registered 903 street sleepers, a 4 percent rise over the same period in 2015 and double the number in 2010, Ming Pao Daily reported.
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