It's 2pm and 16-year-old Ma Wai-yin has just woken up. He has something to eat and then heads for the football pitch nearby, where he will hang out with friends and play soccer until 11pm when the lights go out. Wai-yin heads home to take a shower before rejoining his friends on the street. They usually spend the night playing games at internet cafes or at parks in public housing estates. 'If we hang out at parks we will smoke, drink some beer and play poker. At about 8 or 9am I go home to sleep. I usually spend three to four nights a week out on the streets with my friends like that' says Wai-yin. This has been Wai-yin's life since he left school at the age of 14. 'I couldn't be promoted to Form Two and I just didn't want to go to school anymore. School was of no interest to me ... because it's so boring, and I wasn't interested in any of the subjects taught in school.' Wai-yin admits that hanging out with friends at night leaves him exhausted, and as a result he's not able to go to school in the morning. 'At night when I am having fun with my friends I don't feel tired at all, but in the morning, when it's time to go to school, I'm tired and don't feel like going.' Chan Ka-ling, a social worker at Youth Outreach, an organisation aimed at helping young people in crisis, says there are about 70,000 youngsters below the age of 18 like Wai-yin in Hong Kong. 'Wai-yin's case is not so serious,' she says. 'There are many other cases of teens getting into serious trouble hanging out on the streets at night. When they stay out late, they're easily targeted by triad societies. Many become drug addicts and break the law. One of the missions of Youth Outreach is to help these young people stay away from trouble.' Youth Outreach sends social workers to all districts in Hong Kong every night to look for teenagers. They visit places like parks in public housing estates, 24-hour convenience stores and seaside parks, where a lot of young people hang out. The social workers do not lecture them but do let them know there are better places to hang out, and that the centre provides a 24-hour venue. 'If the teenagers are willing to come with us, our social workers will drive them here,' Ms Chan says. 'We understand it's impossible for all these teenagers to go home, but we are able to protect them from triads and drugs.'