While communal living could be trying at times, one of the positive aspects of hostel life was the support networks and friendships formed.
The Good Neighbour Council was active throughout the life of the hostels, welcoming new arrivals, providing advice and information, and running a variety of social activities. The Young Men’s Christian Association, Christian Women’s Association, Girl Guides and Scouts, are just some of the other organisations which visited residents, organised activities in the hostels and excursions to local attractions.
The Indo Chinese Refugee Association formed in response to the arrival of later refugees, and attempted to provide practical assistance, including at the hostels.
A variety of religious groups, predominantly Christian, were active in the hostels, and in connecting residents with the broader community. In some hostels church services were run onsite.
Events at the hostels ranged from film nights and celebratory meals for special events, to dances and other social evenings. Some hostels had youth and sporting clubs.
Some residents formed friendships that lasted a lifetime.