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BANGKOK 27 June 2019 07:26
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Homeless to be helped by launch of ‘census’

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Homeless to be helped by launch of ‘census’

By The Nation

 

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File photo : General Anantaporn Kanjanarat

 

WITH THE number of homeless people in Thailand estimated to be at least 30,000, nine agencies have joined forces to aim to confirm their exact numbers and provide them with better help.

 

The survey, being conducted this month and next, would determine the numbers of homeless people in 70 municipality areas across 45 provinces, said General Anantaporn Kanjanarat, head of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security (MSDHS).

 

The Homeless Association estimate that just 1,200 of Thailand’s total homeless are in the capital, although other officials have put the figure as high as 3,000.

 

Anantaporn yesterday presided over a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony in Bangkok with some of the agencies involved, including the MSDHS Department of Social Development and Welfare, the Interior Ministry's Department of Local Administration, the Thai Health Promotion Foundation and the Homeless Association.

 

The move follows a previous scheme that aimed to lessen the plight of the homeless in which the MSDHS and its partners built shelters in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen with a total budget of Bt118 million to take care of 698 homeless people. Anantaporn pointed out there were many more homeless people who lacked the opportunities to improve their lives and currently lived in public spaces, hence the need to collect data in order to provide them with shelters and other aid.

 

Homeless Association president Suchin Aimin said many of Bangkok’s homeless stayed in state-run shelters but found that regulations, including the in-and-out time restrictions, made them feel they lacked sufficient freedom. 

 

Furthermore, many made a living by scavenging garbage or second-hand items but were prohibited from taking the items into the shelters so they moved out and slept rough again. He therefore urged state agencies to be a little more lenient with their rules and regulations, in order to improve the lives of those living in shelters. 

 

In the old days, he said, many homeless were elderly people but now there were many from the age of 30 up and still young enough to dream of one day owning their own home.

 

This was in contrast to the old days when most of the homeless were old, of lower education, lacked vocational skills and had forsaken their dream of owning a house because they knew they couldn't afford to pay long-term instalments, he added.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30366958

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation 2019-04-02

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