Jobs and shelter for Bangkok’s homeless an uphill battle

Providing shelter and jobs for Bangkok’s homeless population is being quoted as an “uphill battle.” According to Thai PBS World, Deputy Bangkok Governor Sanon Wangsrangboon made such comments after meeting with city officials and representatives of non-governmental organisations on Wednesday. The meeting was to discuss homelessness in Thailand’s capitol and to develop ways to find shelter and jobs for them.

Sanon says those who have recently become homeless, need more job opportunities to earn an income and pursue a normal life. He added that certain rules need to be eased to help them find employment. He categorised the homeless population by dividing them into groups of chronically homeless, the newly homeless and those living with psychiatric problems. Then, he noted that the newly homeless accounted for the largest group of homeless people in the city.

He said his first priority is to provide temporary shelters and said one potential building site for a shelter is under the expressway near the Maha Phruttharam Temple, in Bang Rak district. The new shelter would join others that are jointly operated by various non-profit organisations.

Currently, there are shelters at the foot of Phra Pinklao Bridge, Hua Lamphong railway station on Trok Sake and Ratchadamnoen Road. Organisations such as the Social Development and Welfare Department, the National Health Security Office, the Institute of Asian Studies at Chulalongkorn University, the Employment Department, the Somdet Chaopraya Institute of Psychiatry, and the Mirror Foundation all attended the meetings with the deputy governor.

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But Sanon says tackling the problem requires a shift in the mindset of the public. He said that the public needs to participate in solving the plight of homeless persons and should not view such people as a social burden, but rather as a group that needs help.

Sanon says there will be more jobs and shelter but didn’t disclose concrete plans of how to make that happen.

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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