Pattaya unemployment fueling homeless crisis

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Many of the vagabonds don’t have money to return to their home provinces. (Photo by Bob James)

Surging unemployment is sending a growing number of homeless people to Pattaya’s beaches, sparking complaints and requiring more police patrols.


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Amid Pattaya’s near-total retail- and service-sector collapse, it’s easy to see where the homeless are coming from. Former bar workers, restaurant staff, security guards and retail clerks are now out of jobs.

Many of the supposed “homeless” that people are complaining about are simply out-of-work residents who hang out at the beach during the day due to having nothing better to do and then return home at night.

Interviews with vagabonds on Sept. 2 found that many don’t have money to return to their home provinces or chose not to go back as there’s nothing to do upcountry either.

So many camp out on the beach, collecting recyclables or begging.

Deputy Mayor Banlue Kullavanijaya said city hall now runs daily patrols and sends the truly indigent to a Chonburi homeless shelter.

But he said many of the supposed “homeless” that people are complaining about are simply out-of-work residents who hang out at the beach during the day due to having nothing better to do and then return home at night.

City hall now runs daily patrols and sends the truly indigent to a Chonburi homeless shelter.

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Some choose not to go back home as there’s nothing to do upcountry either.