THEN Communications consultant and writer NOW Founder of Pit Stop Community Café
Before coming up with the idea of opening Pit Stop Community Café (commercial eatery by day, soup kitchen of sorts by night), Joycelyn was leading Project Tikar, a project that provided rattan mats to the homeless in KL. The mats mean comfort, as it’s an extra layer atop cold concrete and is a better alternative to cardboard beds that got water-logged. But after many nights of the project, she realised that there was more to be done to help. So, she left her comfortable corporate job, looped in co-founder Andrea Tan and a few like-minded friends, and opened Pit Stop Community Café.
For Joycelyn, she finally took the leap to run Pit Stop full-time after coming to a point when she asked herself if this was all there is to life. Upon reflection, she decided it was people that mattered; family and community mattered. But what was she really doing about it? ‘I don’t want to just exist,’ she said. ‘I look at the line [at a soup kitchen] and sometimes I see someone that could be my grandfather, my mother, my father, an uncle, an auntie, a blood relative. And there’s a part of me that won’t let someone suffer or let someone go hungry if I can help it.’
And help she does; the café serves everyone who joins the line during dinner service. It doesn’t matter what their street clients have done that got them to where they’re at; you just help because they need hope.
101 Jalan Tun HS Lee, KL (03 2022 2036/ pitstopcafekl.com). Mon & Wed-Fri, 11.30am-8pm; Sat-Sun, 2-8pm.
L-R: Joycelyn Lee, Andrea Tan