6 June 2024

After sunset, both sides of Phra Arthit Road become makeshift dormitories for the homeless. Small spaces in front of all the buildings are used as places to bed down, accompanied by luggage, ready to be on the move at any time.

A survey, by the Issarachon Foundation, shows that over 4,400 people are living on the streets of Bangkok, a number which doubled after the COVID outbreak. The statistic includes both the temporarily distressed, who have been hit the hardest by the pandemic’s economic impacts, and people who are at risk of becoming permanently homeless.

After speaking to a number of people in the area, many have been homeless since the first outbreak of COVID-19, especially workers who lost their jobs and have remained unemployed.

Many people say that, although they have National ID cards and access to government relief payments, it barely covers the cost of living, let alone a roof over their heads.