Pattaya, ministry, shelter join forces to solve homeless problem

Deputy Mayor Wuthisak Rermkijakarn speaks to the 50-year-old man homeless man camped under the tree.

Pattaya will work with the Social Welfare and Human Development Ministry and a Chonburi shelter to get its homeless problem under control.

Deputy Mayor Wuthisak Rermkijakarn chaired an Aug. 12 meeting with Nantapak Pongsuk, director of the Chonburi Protection Center for the Destitute, which recently signed an agreement with the ministry’s Chonburi office to get homeless people off the street, provide care and social services and get them working and housed again.

Pattaya and the shelter this year have stepped up efforts to take homeless people off the streets and offer information and services on how they can obtain benefits. Currently, the home has 180 residents with 41 more receiving outpatient care.

The ministry has started cooperative programs with 29 municipalities to support social-welfare management to provide care and rehabilitation.

Wuthisak stressed that Pattaya has made controlling the homeless population a priority. But the goal is not simply to push them out of town, but to get them back into the mainstream of society.

Pattaya and Chonburi officials have begun offering them help to the homeless by setting up an outreach desk on the beach outside Mike Shopping Mall twice a month where homeless people are invited to come for aid and information.