SEOUL, Sept. 28 (Korea Bizwire) — There are currently more than 11,000 homeless people in South Korea, a government survey showed Wednesday.
According to the survey by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, 11,340 homeless people were registered as of October of last year with 1,522 of them living on the streets, 493 of them in temporary facilities and 9,325 residing in rehabilitation centers.
It marks the first time that the government has conducted a nationwide survey of homeless people.
Also, the government announced that it will expand its housing support programs and other measures to help homeless people get back on their feet.
Under the long-term blueprint announced by the ministry, the support program is aimed at getting people who have been forced to live in shelters or on the streets to become productive members of society.
The government will first expand temporary housing, so those using homeless shelters across the country and people at risk of losing their homes can benefit from the program.
The new measures will gradually provide more temporary housing for those living on the streets and for female homeless people in particular. Efforts will be made to provide monthly allowances to such people.
The government will also expand medical aid to the homeless, including those who are not covered by the national health insurance system, so they can get free medical checkups at hospitals.
The government will work closely with civic organizations so that homeless people can get free consultations for mental illnesses such as depression.
According to a separate survey, 40 percent of the homeless said their health is very bad, with 30 percent suffering from diseases such as high blood pressure and alcoholism.
To ensure that they have proper job training, the government will expand various job-seeking programs.