Tourists jam the neon lit streets of Pattaya, a resort town in Thailand known for it's thriving sex industry. In this part of the world westerners are usually considered affluent but according to local charities more and more are ending up on the streets- where the sight of a non Asian homeless person is startling. Local charities estimate about 200 westerners are living rough on the streets of Thailand. In many cases - the homeless foreign men have spent all their money and then overstayed their visas - risking jail if they try to leave Thailand. 61-year old Sylvester Ancram's has been living on the streets of Pattaya since April and says being homeless here is better than any option he'd have back home. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HOMELESS MAN FROM THE UNITED STATES, 61-YEAR OLD SYLVESTER ANCRAM SAYING: "It's a lot less stress here, you know, and I'm more comfortable here than I am at home. I don't have to worry about gunshots and all those crazy stuff like this and I'm just comfortable here." A 43 year old Dutch man, who also lives on the streets, explains that at night, the abandoned building where he sleeps is filled with other squatters and male sex workers. "Here they serve their customers. Ah, it's a really bad place here." Local charities are quick to note, however, that while homeless westerners are a surprising phenomenon they are far from the biggest problem faced in a developing country like Thailand.
Sept. 19 - More and more westerners end up homeless on the streets of Thailand. Julie Noce reports. ( Transcript )
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