Hong Kong’s Steep Cost of Living Has Turned City’s McDonald’s Restaurants into Homeless Shelters

As the cost of living in Hong Kong skyrockets, the city’s homeless have taken to sleeping inside 24-hour McDonald’s locations
Hong Kong’s Steep Cost of Living Has Turned City’s McDonald’s Restaurants into Homeless Shelters

Photo Modified: Flickr/Kansir/CC 2.0

The crowds that turn to McDonald’s as their nightly sanctuary have come to be known as “McRefugees.”

The problem of homelessness in Hong Kong, made increasingly common as the city’s exorbitant cost of living continues to rise, and real estate becomes all the more precious.

As of 2015, Hong Kong is considered the sixth most expensive city in the world, trailing only New York City, Zurich, Geneva, Oslo, and London.

As a result, many of the city’s homeless or otherwise transient citizens have taken to sleeping in various 24-hour McDonald’s restaurants, and have come to be known as “McRefugees” or “McSleepers,” according to ABC News.

The recent death of one Hong Kong woman who was sleeping inside a McDonald’s managed to go unnoticed for several hours by other customers, who assumed the woman was sleeping.

A statement issued by a McDonald’s spokesman shortly after news of the woman’s death spread, which stated that it was McDonald’s policy not to disturb their customers unless services were requested “in order to provide a pleasant dining environment,” suggests that the company is not unaware of the practice.

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