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Is there a homeless problem in South Korea?


South Korea is often recognized as a modern and prosperous country, but like any other country, it still faces social issues. One of these issues is homelessness. In this article, we will delve into the question of whether there is a homeless problem in South Korea.

Homelessness Statistics in South Korea:

According to official statistics from the government, there were approximately 4,000 homeless people in South Korea in 2020. However, some NGOs argue that the actual number could be much higher due to the difficulty of counting people who are living on the streets or in temporary shelters.

Reasons for Homelessness in South Korea:

There are various reasons for homelessness in South Korea. One of the primary reasons is poverty, especially among elderly people who lack sufficient retirement funds. Other reasons include job loss, mental illness, and domestic violence.

Government Efforts to Address Homelessness:

The South Korean government has implemented several initiatives to address homelessness. These include building more shelters, providing financial assistance to homeless individuals, and offering job training programs. However, some critics argue that these efforts are not enough and that more needs to be done.

NGOs’ Efforts to Address Homelessness:

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also play an important role in addressing homelessness in South Korea. Many of these organizations provide food, shelter, and medical care to homeless individuals. Additionally, they work to raise public awareness of the issue and advocate for policy changes.

Challenges Faced by Homeless People in South Korea:

Homeless individuals in South Korea face numerous challenges beyond just lack of housing. They often struggle to access basic necessities such as food and healthcare. Additionally, they may face discrimination and stigmatization from society.

Public Perception of Homelessness in South Korea:

Public perception of homelessness in South Korea is often negative. Many people view homeless individuals as lazy or responsible for their own situation. This negative perception exacerbates the challenges faced by homeless individuals and makes it more difficult for them to receive assistance.

Impact of COVID-19 on Homelessness in South Korea:

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on homelessness in South Korea. Many individuals who lost their jobs due to the pandemic have become homeless. Additionally, some homeless shelters have had to reduce capacity due to social distancing guidelines, leaving more individuals without a place to stay.

Examples of Successful Homelessness Reduction Programs:

Despite the challenges, there have been some successful programs aimed at reducing homelessness in South Korea. One example is the “10,000 Won Miracle” program, which provides financial assistance to homeless individuals to help them get back on their feet. Another program is “Housing First,” which provides permanent housing to homeless individuals instead of temporary shelters.

Critiques of Current Homelessness Reduction Efforts:

While there have been some successful programs, there are still critiques of current homelessness reduction efforts in South Korea. Some critics argue that the government needs to invest more resources and develop more comprehensive programs to address the root causes of homelessness.


In conclusion, while there are efforts being made to address homelessness in South Korea, it remains a persistent issue with no easy solution. It is important for both the government and NGOs to continue their efforts and for society as a whole to work towards reducing discrimination and stigma towards homeless individuals.

Do they have homeless people in Korea?

An Asian Boss reporter interviewed a homeless man named Seong Weon Sang to shed light on the struggles of Korea’s homeless population. Homeless individuals in Korea desire access to the same resources as the average Korean, and the difficulties they face are heartbreaking.

Which country handles homelessness the best?

To sum up, although it may not have the least number of homeless individuals or the lowest rate of homelessness globally, Finland is the nation that manages homelessness most effectively.

Is it safe to live in South Korea right now?

South Korea has a notably low crime rate, with the majority of crimes being non-violent, such as theft and fraud. Despite its size, the country has a low incidence of violent crime.

What countries have 0 homelessness?

By the year 2023, there are some countries that will have zero homeless people, such as the Bahamas, Belize, Guadeloupe, Iceland, and many more with small populations.

Why does Japan have no homeless?

What explains the low levels of homelessness in Japan? Many factors contribute to homelessness globally, such as drug addiction, mental health issues, limited housing options, education, and government policies. However, Japan’s strict laws on drug use, effective mental health systems, and ample housing options are some of the reasons why the country has a relatively low homeless population.

Are there slums in Korea?

The Guryong slum, located in the Gangnam district of South Korea, has been known to represent the economic disparity in the country. Despite being a part of the affluent Gangnam area, which was made popular by Psy’s “Gangnam Style” song, the slum serves as a reminder of the wealth gap in the country.

Additionally, it is important to recognize that homelessness is not just an individual problem, but a systemic one. Addressing the root causes of poverty and inequality, such as affordable housing and job opportunities, is crucial in reducing homelessness in the long term.

Another challenge in addressing homelessness in South Korea is the lack of accurate information and data on the issue. Without reliable data, it is difficult for policymakers and organizations to develop effective solutions. Therefore, there needs to be more research and data collection on homelessness in South Korea.

Finally, it is important to involve homeless individuals themselves in the development and implementation of homelessness reduction programs. Their experiences and insights can provide valuable input into the design of effective solutions. By working together with homeless individuals, policymakers and organizations can ensure that their efforts are responsive to the needs of those they aim to serve.

In conclusion, addressing homelessness in South Korea requires a multifaceted approach that combines government efforts, NGO initiatives, public awareness-raising, and involvement of homeless individuals themselves. It is a complex issue with no easy solution, but by continuing to work towards reducing poverty and inequality, increasing access to resources and services, and combatting discrimination and stigma, progress can be made towards reducing homelessness in South Korea.

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