Bangkok launches initiative to improve homeless facilities

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Striving to enhance the overall aesthetics of Ratchadamnoen Avenue, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is preparing to consolidate facilities for the homeless residing in the area. This move follows a recent report from the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, which conveys a significant improvement in the homeless situation, predicting a drop in numbers from 1,600 to about 1,400 this year.

Nevertheless, a point of concern remains over the state of Ratchadamnoen Avenue, particularly in light of recent viral photographs showcasing homeless individuals making their abode in front of derelict structures on Ratchadamnoen Klang Avenue, near Satriwithaya School. The avenue has reputedly become a draw for the homeless due to regular offerings of cash and foodstuffs by night time benefactors. Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt said…

“One of the main solutions is to limit the drop-in locations to one under the Phra Pinklao Bridge and the other in Sake Alley on Assadang Road.”

The 57 year old city chief added that this aims to not only make Ratchadamnoen clean but also set the registration procedures for the homeless people in the future.

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The initiatives of City Hall extend beyond physical rearrangements, with efforts underway to avail work opportunities for the homeless. As mentioned by Chadchart, to date, 169 job vacancies have been presented to homeless individuals.

Further restructuring includes the relocation of the Baan Imjai shelter to the vicinity of Chaloem Wan Chat Bridge, following the termination of the rental agreement for its current establishment in Soi Mansri. Chadchart also affirmed that revamping activities for the new shelter premises are projected for completion this year.

Weeraphan Suphanchaimat, Chairman of the Thai Health Organisation’s (ThaiHealth) Directing Committee on Health Promotion for the Homeless, estimated that nearly half of Bangkok’s homeless population resides in Phra Nakhon district and Ratchadamnoen Avenue. Such data prompted ThaiHealth and associated sectors to set up a drop-in centre under Phra Pinklao Bridge, offering access to job openings, healthcare services and essential hygiene facilities like laundromats and shower rooms for the disadvantaged, as stated by Weeraphan.

Thapanee Sirisombun, Head of the Bangkok Homeless Protection Centre, outlined that the newly registered homeless visitors at the drop-in facility were typically between the ages of 40 and 60 years old, reports Bangkok Post.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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