BOSTON (CBS) — Cardinal Sean O’Malley was out on Christmas Day to help bring attention to homelessness.
“We have to demand that our political leaders that they give attention to it and the kinds of resources that are needed to be able to solve it,” said O’Malley.
On Monday, the Cardinal visited St. Francis House, a homeless shelter, in Boston.
He listed some of the issued that might promote homelessness such as the lack of affordable housing and income inequality.
“How do we treat our people with mental illness? what are we doing about addiction?” He continued. “All of these kinds of problems are what contribute to the fact that there are so many homeless people in our cities.”
O’Malley said he was concerned about how many people are unaware of the problem.
Karen LaFrazia, President of the St. Francis House, said that in the past year, over 1,000 people from the shelter have found housing.
“The not-so-good news is we’re having still as many people come through the front door,” she said.
It is not lost on LaFrazia and other homeless advocates that it took a public outcry recently to reverse federal plans to slash funding for homeless veterans, and a tax credit St. Francis House uses to help fund new housing is a casualty of the new GOP tax plan.
“We’re just seeing resources aren’t there or we’re having to really fight hard to keep what little we have for the most vulnerable in our community,” said LaFrazia.
On a cold, white Christmas, for both religious and meteorological reasons, the plight of the homeless comes into special focus.
For Cardinal Sean and the folks at St. Francis House, and everyone else who cares about the battles against homelessness, the struggle is to keep our society focused on that struggles the other 364 days of the year.