Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster

Cardinal Vincent Draws Attention to 'Hidden Homelessness'

In his address to Catholic charities, MPs and supporters at the annual Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) parliamentary reception on 2 November, Cardinal Vincent focused on homelessness and, in particular, the rise in 'hidden homelessness'.

Describing them as 'under the radar', the hidden homeless are those who may have a job but are sleeping on sofas or spare rooms or in Bed and Breakfasts. Young people in this position may stay with a different friend each night or go to all-night parties to avoid sleeping on the street.

The Cardinal stressed that prevention must be the key priority:

'Family relationship breakdown is a leading contributor to homelessness among single men, and a leading cause of family breakdown is financial difficulty. Then there is the scourge of drug and alcohol addiction. And of course, those without suitable accommodation upon release from prison are the most likely to find themselves on the streets, back in its vicious cycle.'

He also commended the contribution of Catholic charities and parishes:

'All over England and Wales, parishes and charities offer a range of support to people who are homeless: from extensive skills training, counselling, hostels and move-on accommodation, to simply offering a hot meal and clothing to those with nowhere else to turn. Indeed, in the Diocese of Westminster we calculate that in our parishes over 4 million hours of volunteers’ time are given every year.'

The Cardinal also stated that the Church was ready to engage in greater partnership with government, central and local, in order to truly serve the common good, the good that omits nobody.

Finally, he spoke about the link between imprisonment and homelessness referencing an 'urgent crisis' in prisons in England and Wales with escalating levels of violence, suicide, self-harm and assaults on staff.

The full text of the Cardinal's address can be found here.

 

Latest news
  • 'Vote thoughtfully,' enjoins Cardinal'Vote thoughtfully,' enjoins Cardinal

    Ahead of the General Election on 12th December, Cardinal Vincent asked that the Sunday before the election be a 'day of prayer for our nations'. He enjoined the faithful to 'vote thoughtfully, not out of rancour' and asked that discussions should...

    more
  • Letter from the Cardinal: Safeguarding in the Church today

    The following is the text of the Cardinal's letter to the clergy and people of the diocese on safeguarding. Safeguarding in the Church today In the last twenty years or so, the evil of the sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church has ...

    more
  • Look for hidden examples of holiness of life, says Cardinal

    In a homily delivered on the third day of the Plenary Assembly of the Council of Bishops' Conferences of Europe (CCEE) in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Cardinal Vincent said that 'in these days as we seek to identify and appreciate all the signs ...

    more