by Martin Newland
THE plight of homeless Matthew, who was thrown out of his accommodation when his landlord found out that he had AIDS, is just one case history featured in a new report published by the agency for the homeless Shelter entitled Who's Homeless Now? True Stories From Divided Britain.
All over Great Britain, Shelter and similar bodies are seeking ways of highlighting the suffering of the homeless as this International Year of Shelter for the Homeless draws to a close.
Catholic figures, among them Bishop Victor Guazzelli of East London and Bruce Kent, Chairman of CND, read out excerpts from Who's Homeless Now? at its launch in the Covent Garden Piazza, London yesterday.
The report concentrates on those homeless who are most vulnerable such as the mentally ill, AIDS sufferers, teenagers and children. Interviews with those in bed and break fast accommodation and those who sleep in the streets together with pictures depicting their destitution, Shelter says, add up to "a damning indictment of housing policies" in this country.
Cardinal Hume also drew attention to homelessness when on Saturday he joined 500 homeless people for a lunch organised by Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity at Westminster Cathedral's Conference Centre.
The Missionaries of Charity have four centres in London, the one in Westminster providing meals for 350 people a day. The cardinal showed his esteem for their work and his solidarity with the homeless by celebrating Mass in the Cathedral with the Westminster Cathedral Choir leading the congregation in the singing of carols.
Despite their efforts the Missionaries of Charity are finding it hard to cope with the increasing numbers of homeless and destitute that come to their door for food and shelter. A Cathedral spokesperson said that the 350 people fed each day there marks a steady increase during 1987 of those needing a roof over their heads.