Pattaya City Police assisted a man who had become homeless and destitute due to Covid-19 return home to his province in Udon Thani yesterday.
The man, Sittichok Noisurawan, age 66, is an Udon Thani native. He had previously worked in Pattaya in various tourist facing roles before the Covid-19 pandemic devastated the tourism industry in the city, putting tens of thousands out of work. He was laid off and quickly found himself run out of money despite searching for another job.
Sittichok joined a local temple in Pattaya as a monk to be able to eat and survive, however, the lifestyle was not for him. He reached out to Pattaya Police for help with a lack of options remaining, desperate to find a way to return to his home province in Udon Thani and relatives there. He had no funds whatsoever.
Lt. Col. Nitat Waen, Deputy Director General of Pattaya Police Station was assisted by Mr. Komkrit Phonwichit, Head of the Peace Association of Pattaya in arranging transportation for Sittichok. They also gave him some money for food and water.
Sittichok was very thankful for the assistance and has now returned to his province and family. His story, however, is not unique. The Pattaya News has reported extensively on the unemployment issue in Pattaya and rising homeless issue due to the Covid-19 pandemic for months.
Pattaya had roughly ten million foreign and seven million domestic visitors last year to the city. However, borders are currently closed in Thailand to general tourists and as a result Pattaya, which relies on tourism for about 80 percent of its GDP, has taken a significant hit.