Pattaya City officials have been out and about the past several nights along with Chonburi Homeless Protection Center officials reaching out to those in need.
This follows multiple reports of petty crime and other incidents as the homeless population increases in Pattaya due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lack of foreign tourists. Thailand has currently closed its borders and regular foreign tourists are not able to visit.
Ms. Mayuree Mornphol, Director of the Center for the Protection of the Homeless, told The Pattaya News that although incidents like a lady doing methamphetamine in public or another smashing vehicles with rocks dominated the news, the majority of the homeless in Pattaya were just down on their luck and harmless.
Mayuree stated that the population had increased in Pattaya for several reasons. The lack of employment was one but she stated that the city also has many empty and abandoned buildings currently due to the Covid-19 crisis and it is relatively easy to find a place to sleep. Many of the homeless in Pattaya, according to her, won’t return to their home provinces as they feel they would be a burden on their family or life would be worse there.
On the morning of September 4 a total of 34 homeless were approached and detained according to Mayuree, primarily sleeping in public areas like Pattaya beach, Walking Street, Soi Buakhao and also a large complex of abandoned buildings in Jomtien.
The majority of them will be given shelter at the Homeless Protection Center and a few will be offered complimentary bus tickets to their home province. Several, she said, who had mental issues or drug problems were sent to the Banglamung hospital for assistance.
Two homeless people were found to be Cambodian Nationals who have been arrested and deported four separate times. The two beggars said they had crossed into Thailand illegally by paying a handler 3000 baht. They will be deported once more but the men also claimed they would likely return as there was no opportunity in their own country.