Sunday, September 20 2020


HCM City to keep beggars, homeless out of harm’s way amid pandemic

Update: April, 03/2020 - 12:03


A beggar in HCM City. City authorities want to send homeless people and beggars to shelters to safeguard them from COVID-19. — Photo

HCM CITY — All homeless people and beggars in HCM City will be sent to shelters as a measure against the COVID-19 pandemic, Lê Thanh Liêm, vice chairman of the city People’s Committee, has said.

The committee has given until Friday night for district authorities to complete the task of classifying people and sending them to homeless shelters or centres for mentally ill people as required, he said.

It has also directed all 24 districts to immediately appraise the health status of beggars and homeless, especially older people, to safeguard them, he said.

The districts have been told to focus on areas such as outside supermarkets, wet markets and hospitals and major intersections, and round up vagrants. 

District authorities will be held responsible if homeless people are found on streets in their localities.

They have been instructed to provide facemasks to homeless people, help them complete medical declarations and quarantine those with symptoms like fever, cough or breathing difficulty. 

The city police have been tasked with investigating if vulnerable people, especially children, have been forced to beg by others for personal benefit.

Though the city has been trying to take care of beggars and homeless people for long, many continue to beg on pretexts like their money was stolen or missed their train home.

People housed at homeless shelters centres are provided with education and vocational training and sent back home to find jobs and lead stable lives.

The centres also liaise with businesses to find jobs for such people.

In the case of those preferring to remain in HCM City, local district and ward administrations are responsible for contacting their families, who need to guarantee their relatives will stop begging or living on the streets. 

Some of main spots in the city where vagrants can be found are the Nguyễn Thái Học-Trần Hưng Đạo intersection in District 1, Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa-Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai and Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai-Cách Mạng Tháng 8 (August Revolution) intersections in District 3, Nguyễn Trãi-Nguyễn Văn Cừ and Nguyễn Trãi-Châu Văn Liêm intersections in District 5, and Cộng Hoà-Út Tịch and Bảy Hiền intersections in Tân Bình District.

Each year 1,500-2,000 people are sent to the HCM City Social Support Centre. — VNS

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