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  • Joycelyn Lee

This Is Us

It would have been seven years since we rolled up our shutters at 101, Jalan Tun H.S. Lee to invite all who were hungry, tired, and in need of sustenance to come in, rest their feet and partake of a meal or a drink.

Who would have thought that the simple desire of a few people who merely wanted to offer those in need a little respite from the world would have had such impact seven years on?

When we kicked off the Pit Stop Community Café then, there was no similar creature like that we had envisioned; the closest would maybe have been Kechara Soup Kitchen which operated from their shoplot off Jalan Imbi.

Soup kitchens then were serving off street corners, car park lots, behind shophouses, pretty much anywhere they wouldn’t garner too much notice from the authorities.

They would either hide in corners or be defiantly at loggerheads with authorities from previous administrations which had declared then that “there were no homeless” in Kuala Lumpur.

Enter the Pit Stop, which registered not as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) but as a company, billing ourselves as a social enterprise, when the term “social enterprise” had yet to be legally defined in this country (definitions are still cloudy here, as far as we are concerned, for many reasons, which we will go to in future posts).

Our primary objectives then were simple.

The first was to provide people who wanted to make a change, an avenue with which they could do so. We realised that it could be something as simple as providing a safe space for potential volunteers, or as complicated as motivating someone to start their own project. Or even... to just... vote.

The second – related to the first – was to show that even individuals could make a change, no matter how small.

Everything flowed from there. So many lessons, so many inspirational stories - so many stories, really - which we will showcase here eventually.

There were other goals of course, including raising awareness of homelessness and urban poverty; outreach to at-risk groups through food; building bridges amongst other civil service organisations through collaborations; providing avenues for at-risk individuals to turn their lives around; working with authorities to find solutions to homelessness… the list goes on.

Almost seven years, a global pandemic, countless personal and professional challenges later… and here we are, believe it or not, many of the boxes on our checklist ticked – except that that checklist seems to have grown longer.

This blog is a documentation of our journey. What we have learnt and experienced, what we hope we can continue doing, how we can change the world we live in. Yes, we really can.

This is us. Come share our journey.

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