This homeless man, or Lo Suk Tse in Cantonese (literally, street sleepers), lives in the open space underneath an elevated highway, which is flanked by roads on the street level. He has been seen taking Chinese rice spirit in the morning. A strong foul smell wafted in the air around the platform of an manhole opening where he is sleeping, likely the smell of urine.
Like many modern cities, the sight of street sleepers has never been few and far between in Hong Kong. When Hong Kong was hardest hit by the Asian financial crisis from 1997 through to 2002, the Cultural Centre as the landmark in Tsim Sha Tsui became a haven of these homeless people at night. A photographic project was done on the subject, which gave birth to the album of photos of street sleepers. Its cover shows these poor people clustering on the mezzanine floor of the Cultural Centre at night. Check this out if you wish to purchase the book, Homeless II.
Some statistics about the street sleepers in Hong Kong:
According to information collected by the Social Welfare Department in various districts, the number of known street
sleepers in Hong Kong as at the end of December 2007 was 327 (which I think is an under-estimation).
If a street sleeper is found dead on the street, the police will inform the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD), and the FEHD will remove the dead body to a public mortuary. If the body remains unclaimed after a period of time, the officer in charge of the mortuary will ask the FEHD to remove the body from the mortuary. The body will then be taken to a public cemetery or government crematorium for burial or cremation according to the instructions of the forensic pathologist.
If the forensic pathologist advises burial, the body will be buried in the Sandy Ridge Cemetery and exhumed after six years, and the cremated human ashes will be placed in the communal grave of the Sandy Ridge Cemetery. In the case of cremation, the cremated human ashes will be put into a bag marked with the words "unclaimed body" and the name, age and sex of the deceased, as well as the cremation date and the number of the cremation permit. After being kept in the government crematorium for six months, the unclaimed ashes will be placed in the communal grave of the Sandy Ridge Cemetery.