Local Pattaya residents urge authorities to do more to help the rising homeless population in the city

Pattaya –

Locals in Pattaya are urging relevant authorities in the area to “do more” to assist the homeless in the city, which has seen a considerable increase recently due to strict Covid-19 related measures and restrictions that have shut the majority of Pattaya’s businesses.

TPN media has regularly covered the homeless situation in Pattaya, as you can view by reading this article here. This article is also a good source for why the homeless situation has taken place and is increasing in Pattaya, driven heavily by Covid-19 restrictions that have essentially shuttered Pattaya for months, and only seem to be getting stricter as cases continue to rise. However, according to Chonburi Provincial authorities who work with local homeless shelters, a primary reason for the amount of homeless on the streets is not just the restrictions closing job opportunities but the lack of financial aid from the central government during the current period. Additionally, many homeless are not Thai and come from other countries but due to closed borders, lockdowns, or political unrest (Myanmar) in their own homes, it is difficult to leave.

Additionally, currently, nearly all domestic travel options that are inexpensive, such as bus travel, have been shut down, leaving limited options for many people to travel on a severe budget. Indeed, some of the homeless in Pattaya don’t want to leave as the city has many charity food lines and organizations helping those in need and many abandoned and closed buildings for people to take shelter in. Pattaya relies on tourism, entertainment, and hospitality for about 80% of its GDP-all sectors basically either mandated shut by the government to prevent the spread of Covid-19 or essentially shut, like hotels, due to no customers.

Even businesses that are legally allowed to operate are struggling as many residents, both ex-pat and Thai, have left Pattaya behind with limited job opportunities and what seems like a neverending partial lockdown that has now closed even popular ex-pat activities like beaches, pools, golf courses, parks, and tennis courts. This, in turn, leads to fewer customers and less spending in the local economy. Businesses that can open, like restaurants, as takeaway or delivery only have also seen many choose to close for now until the situation improves, with owners claiming the strict rules make being open unprofitable.

The Pattaya News received concern from several local residents recently that a woman and her young daughter were living on a sidewalk near a bank in Soi Nern Plubwan, in Eastern Pattaya. Residents were especially concerned, according to them, for the young daughter’s well-being.

The mother, aged around 35 – 40-years-old and her daughter aged around three years old have taken up residence on a sidewalk with a mat and some belongings nearby. Local residents have been giving food, money, and supplies to them. The mother is reportedly from Roi Et and had fallen on hard times.

Mr. Sek, first name only given, who was one of several local residents who alerted reporters to the situation told The Pattaya News, “She and her two daughters have stayed here for several days, living on the streets.”

“Earlier this week on Sunday (August 1st) there was a man who claimed that he is their father and picked one of the girls up before leaving, according to the girl who is still there. Their mother appears to be suffering from mental health issues and needs further support and will not answer questions.” Sek added.

“I have already called the Chonburi Social Development and Human Security Office. They said this family might be the same one that they have helped many times.” Sek stated.

“I don’t think that the woman is using her child to beg for food and money and I think she just has personal issues and needs a helping hand. Residents are providing food, water, and supplies but more is needed.” Sek concluded.


Authorities have reportedly been notified about this particular situation and are looking into it.

The homeless situation in Pattaya is a difficult one, and indeed, there were homeless before the Covid-19 crisis as well, although the situation has certainly been compounded by it. There are homeless shelters in Chonburi, contrary to some beliefs, but many have strict rules and requirements around things like sobriety or actively looking for employment and not turning down potential job offers, leading many to state they prefer to stay on the city streets.

Law enforcement has taken mostly a “hands-off” role, understanding how difficult the situation already is for those living on the streets of Pattaya. Police often offer to give transportation free to homeless people who have family in Thailand or come from other provinces, but as previously stated many don’t want to leave, seeing things as better in Pattaya for a homeless resident than in a rural province.

For now, as long as both the Covid-19 virus and the related restrictions and measures (along with what is claimed by many to be a lack of financial aid) continue that shut many job opportunities, the situation will not see any significant improvement in the Pattaya area, according to Sek.


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Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than four years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.