World Homeless Day is observed internationally on the 10th of October. In Thailand, Issarachon Foundation and partner agencies organized an event to observe the day and to promote the welfare of homeless persons.
Homeless and vulnerable persons visited Lan Khon Mueang plaza in front of Bangkok City Hall to receive food and daily necessities. The handouts were offered by various entities, including foundations and volunteers, on the occasion of World Homeless Day 2022.
The event was organized by Issarachon Foundation and partner agencies, including the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth).
A discussion titled “Homeless not Hopeless” was held as part of the day’s event. Representatives from relevant agencies talked about the situation of homeless people in Thailand. The talk was aimed at raising awareness and understanding of the homeless issue.
Bangkok Deputy Governor Sanon Wangsrangboon said the pandemic has resulted in the homeless and urban poor issues becoming inseparable from one another. He noted addressing the two matters requires work on the welfare aspect in addition to the residence aspect.
Phorani Phuprasoet, a bureau director at ThaiHealth, said her agency innovate an emergency residence model based on participation from homeless persons. The rent subsidy model supports those facing poverty and addresses the trend of increasing numbers of homeless persons.
Chulalongkorn University’s Institute of Asian Studies detected a 30% rise in the number of homeless persons in Bangkok in the past 2-3 years. Ms. Phorani said that during the Covid years, Bangkok’s homeless number rose to between 1,700-1,800 from 1,307. The number rose by 4,000 nationwide. This has prompted ThaiHealth to attempt proactive undertakings to improve the welfare of homeless persons and tackle the economic disparity issue.