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Pictures | Fri Jan 26, 2018 | 11:50pm IST

Homeless in Hong Kong

Cheung Muk-gun, 72, eats a burger in front of his makeshift home under a footbridge in Hong Kong. He lives in an illegal, wooden shack under a highway in one of the poorest areas of Hong Kong, where sky-high property prices and a yawning wealth gap have helped fuel a surge in homelessness.

REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Cheung Muk-gun, 72, eats a burger in front of his makeshift home under a footbridge in Hong Kong. He lives in an illegal, wooden shack under a highway in one of the poorest areas of Hong Kong, where sky-high property prices and a yawning wealth gap...more

Cheung Muk-gun, 72, eats a burger in front of his makeshift home under a footbridge in Hong Kong. He lives in an illegal, wooden shack under a highway in one of the poorest areas of Hong Kong, where sky-high property prices and a yawning wealth gap have helped fuel a surge in homelessness. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
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Cheung Muk-gun, 72, sits outside his makeshift home under a footbridge in Hong Kong. The 72-year-old earns about HK$10,000 ($1,279) a month working seven days a week at a frozen meat store in the working-class district of Mong Kok, a short trip across Victoria Harbour from the city's opulent financial center. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Cheung Muk-gun, 72, sits outside his makeshift home under a footbridge in Hong Kong. The 72-year-old earns about HK$10,000 ($1,279) a month working seven days a week at a frozen meat store in the working-class district of Mong Kok, a short trip...more

Cheung Muk-gun, 72, sits outside his makeshift home under a footbridge in Hong Kong. The 72-year-old earns about HK$10,000 ($1,279) a month working seven days a week at a frozen meat store in the working-class district of Mong Kok, a short trip across Victoria Harbour from the city's opulent financial center. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
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Cheung Muk-gun, 72, drinks a can of beer outside his makeshift home under a footbridge in Hong Kong. With property prices up 200 percent in the past decade, and a bed in a tiny, windowless apartment - often shared with other tenants - going for about HK$2,000 a month, Cheung said he preferred to live in his shack. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Cheung Muk-gun, 72, drinks a can of beer outside his makeshift home under a footbridge in Hong Kong. With property prices up 200 percent in the past decade, and a bed in a tiny, windowless apartment - often shared with other tenants - going for about...more

Cheung Muk-gun, 72, drinks a can of beer outside his makeshift home under a footbridge in Hong Kong. With property prices up 200 percent in the past decade, and a bed in a tiny, windowless apartment - often shared with other tenants - going for about HK$2,000 a month, Cheung said he preferred to live in his shack. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
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Cheung Muk-gun, 72, takes meat to a store at a street market at Mongkok district in Hong Kong. An apartment of around 250 square feet (23 square meters) in a new building with windows and a bathroom near Mong Kok would rent for about HK$12,000. "Why would I want to spend so much on rent, not to mention other related miscellaneous expenses. After paying all that, my salary could hardly cover my daily expenses," he said.


REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Cheung Muk-gun, 72, takes meat to a store at a street market at Mongkok district in Hong Kong. An apartment of around 250 square feet (23 square meters) in a new building with windows and a bathroom near Mong Kok would rent for about HK$12,000. "Why...more

Cheung Muk-gun, 72, takes meat to a store at a street market at Mongkok district in Hong Kong. An apartment of around 250 square feet (23 square meters) in a new building with windows and a bathroom near Mong Kok would rent for about HK$12,000. "Why would I want to spend so much on rent, not to mention other related miscellaneous expenses. After paying all that, my salary could hardly cover my daily expenses," he said. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
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Cheung Muk-gun, 72, pushes a cartload of meat past a street sleeper at Mongkok district in Hong Kong. Since Cheung became a street sleeper more than five years ago, Hong Kong's homeless population has jumped about 30 percent to 1,800, according to the Society for Community Organisation (SocO), a non-governmental human rights group.

REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Cheung Muk-gun, 72, pushes a cartload of meat past a street sleeper at Mongkok district in Hong Kong. Since Cheung became a street sleeper more than five years ago, Hong Kong's homeless population has jumped about 30 percent to 1,800, according to...more

Cheung Muk-gun, 72, pushes a cartload of meat past a street sleeper at Mongkok district in Hong Kong. Since Cheung became a street sleeper more than five years ago, Hong Kong's homeless population has jumped about 30 percent to 1,800, according to the Society for Community Organisation (SocO), a non-governmental human rights group. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
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People sleep inside a McDonald's restaurant near midnight hours at Mongkok district in Hong Kong. That compares with government data showing 1,075 registered street sleepers as of end-2017 and is double the 908 recorded in 2016. Government figures do not include so-called "McRefugees" who sleep in fast-food chains - whose numbers are significant but not officially counted - indicating homelessness is rapidly worsening in the Chinese territory of 7.3 million people.

REUTERS/Bobby Yip

People sleep inside a McDonald's restaurant near midnight hours at Mongkok district in Hong Kong. That compares with government data showing 1,075 registered street sleepers as of end-2017 and is double the 908 recorded in 2016. Government figures do...more

People sleep inside a McDonald's restaurant near midnight hours at Mongkok district in Hong Kong. That compares with government data showing 1,075 registered street sleepers as of end-2017 and is double the 908 recorded in 2016. Government figures do not include so-called "McRefugees" who sleep in fast-food chains - whose numbers are significant but not officially counted - indicating homelessness is rapidly worsening in the Chinese territory of 7.3 million people. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
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A person sleeps inside a McDonald's restaurant at midnight hours at Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong. While Hong Kong has far fewer homeless residents than, say, the almost 58,000 in Los Angeles County, the pace of their increase has alarmed social workers.

REUTERS/Bobby Yip

A person sleeps inside a McDonald's restaurant at midnight hours at Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong. While Hong Kong has far fewer homeless residents than, say, the almost 58,000 in Los Angeles County, the pace of their increase has alarmed...more

A person sleeps inside a McDonald's restaurant at midnight hours at Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong. While Hong Kong has far fewer homeless residents than, say, the almost 58,000 in Los Angeles County, the pace of their increase has alarmed social workers. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
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Cheung Muk-gun, 72, drinks a coffee after work in Hong Kong, China.

REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Cheung Muk-gun, 72, drinks a coffee after work in Hong Kong, China. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Cheung Muk-gun, 72, drinks a coffee after work in Hong Kong, China. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
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Cheung Muk-gun, 72, poses beside his make-shift home under a footbridge in Hong Kong. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Cheung Muk-gun, 72, poses beside his make-shift home under a footbridge in Hong Kong. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Cheung Muk-gun, 72, poses beside his make-shift home under a footbridge in Hong Kong. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
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Cheung Muk-gun, 72, washes his face at a changing room of a park in Hong Kong. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Cheung Muk-gun, 72, washes his face at a changing room of a park in Hong Kong. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Cheung Muk-gun, 72, washes his face at a changing room of a park in Hong Kong. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
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Cheung Muk-gun, 72, poses inside his makeshift home under a footbridge in Hong Kong. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Cheung Muk-gun, 72, poses inside his makeshift home under a footbridge in Hong Kong. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Cheung Muk-gun, 72, poses inside his makeshift home under a footbridge in Hong Kong. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
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Cheung Muk-gun, 72, sits in front of residential buildings at a park in Hong Kong. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Cheung Muk-gun, 72, sits in front of residential buildings at a park in Hong Kong. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Cheung Muk-gun, 72, sits in front of residential buildings at a park in Hong Kong. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
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A man sleeps inside a McDonald's restaurant at midnight hours at Sham Shui Po district in Hong Kong. SoCO social worker Ng Wai-tung estimates 25 percent of Hong Kong's homeless population are McRefugees - people who call fast-food outlets home. He expects to see more in the summer when street sleepers seek air-conditioning to cool down.

REUTERS/Bobby Yip

A man sleeps inside a McDonald's restaurant at midnight hours at Sham Shui Po district in Hong Kong. SoCO social worker Ng Wai-tung estimates 25 percent of Hong Kong's homeless population are McRefugees - people who call fast-food outlets home. He...more

A man sleeps inside a McDonald's restaurant at midnight hours at Sham Shui Po district in Hong Kong. SoCO social worker Ng Wai-tung estimates 25 percent of Hong Kong's homeless population are McRefugees - people who call fast-food outlets home. He expects to see more in the summer when street sleepers seek air-conditioning to cool down. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
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A man sleeps inside a McDonald's restaurant at midnight hours at Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong. Reuters visited four 24-hour McDonald's, where it found on average six people bedding down of a night in each of the restaurants. Some lay stretched out with their shoes off, while others slept with their heads on tables.

REUTERS/Bobby Yip

A man sleeps inside a McDonald's restaurant at midnight hours at Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong. Reuters visited four 24-hour McDonald's, where it found on average six people bedding down of a night in each of the restaurants. Some lay stretched...more

A man sleeps inside a McDonald's restaurant at midnight hours at Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong. Reuters visited four 24-hour McDonald's, where it found on average six people bedding down of a night in each of the restaurants. Some lay stretched out with their shoes off, while others slept with their heads on tables. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
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People sleep inside a McDonald's restaurant at midnight hours at Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong. "Since more than 120 McDonald's restaurants are operating around the clock among our around 240 restaurants in Hong Kong, there could be chances that some customers stay in our restaurants overnight," McDonald's told Reuters. "McDonald's Hong Kong is accommodating to people (who) stay long in the restaurant for their own respective reasons."

REUTERS/Bobby Yip

People sleep inside a McDonald's restaurant at midnight hours at Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong. "Since more than 120 McDonald's restaurants are operating around the clock among our around 240 restaurants in Hong Kong, there could be chances...more

People sleep inside a McDonald's restaurant at midnight hours at Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong. "Since more than 120 McDonald's restaurants are operating around the clock among our around 240 restaurants in Hong Kong, there could be chances that some customers stay in our restaurants overnight," McDonald's told Reuters. "McDonald's Hong Kong is accommodating to people (who) stay long in the restaurant for their own respective reasons." REUTERS/Bobby Yip
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