The body of the late Mr. Kim XX YY, aged 47, was found inside a public toilet in Nogosan Children’s Park, Mapo-gu. The deceased has no family according to the resident registration files, making it impossible to set up a mortuary.
This is the gist of what was reported to me this morning by the Health & Welfare Office. A homeless person passed away in the chilly winter air.
It’s very sad. And I am truly sorry about this.
I am really sorry that I could not maintain a proud ‘zero’ in terms of the number of homeless persons who die on the streets.
If we had made a little more effort, this precious life could have been saved. Please blame our negligence.
As part of the special measures for homeless people, Seoul City Government has set up a crisis response call center for the homeless (Tel. 1600-9582), and is operating the Seoul City Hope Support Center 24/7, providing emergency shelters in addition to the existing temporary protection facilities, and reinforcing counseling on the streets among other measures.
In view of the recent cold wave, I also ordered the protective measures for homeless people to be strengthened, but in vain.
Upon hearing the report on Mr. Kim’s death, I reprimanded the official in charge and ordered that all of the 4,273 homeless people in Seoul be issued with personal management cards. In addition, their personal medical histories will be kept and their whereabouts confirmed, especially in periods of cold weather.
Today I regret our negligence, offering a flower to the deceased. We are so sorry.