Pattaya officials continue to struggle with homeless problem

Inspection of homeless encampment in Pattaya, photo by The Pattaya News.

Pattaya officials are continuing to struggle with the city’s homelessness issues. On Tuesday, Pattaya’s deputy mayor inspected a homeless encampment under Motorway Route 7, after nearby residents complained about the growing number of homeless people.

Deputy Mayor Wuttisak Rueimkitkan said he found three to four makeshift tents at the encampment. He said one family included a father and his two daughters who were four and 14 years old.

Wuttisak said he was concerned about the family being cramped into the tent, so he would try to contact the mother to come and pick up the daughters.

Other homeless people at the encampment would be transferred to the Chon Buri Homeless Protection Centre, Wuttisak said. Wuttisak added that the city could not do much about them because it might breach Thai human rights laws, The Pattaya News reported.

Last year, Pattaya’s homeless population was reported to be on the rise after a year without foreign tourists. Even though Pattaya was named one of the top 20 most visited cities in the world back in 2019 with 10 million foreign tourists, Covid-19 restrictions forced many businesses to close. Even some women who worked in bars in the city’s red light district were setting up tents in the empty bars to sleep at night.

Wuttisak says that the city has tried to teach homeless people professional skills so they can earn a living, but they always chose to go back to living on the street.

This year, Pattaya officials have tried new ways to improve the city’s issues with homelessness. In July, Wittisak launched a campaign to help integrate homeless people back into society.

Officials set up a stand in front of the Mike Shopping Mall in the South Pattaya beach area. At the stand, the officials helped homeless people with issues over documentation, as a first step to integrating them back into society. They helped people reconnect with state agencies to receive basic needs. This included proper IDs, shelters, jobs, and Covid protection.

Still, it looks like Pattaya still has a long way to go before it truly solves its issues with homelessness.

Pattaya NewsThailand News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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