|Social Welfare||WOMEN AND CHILDREN 'THE NEW HOMELESS'|
A St Vincent de Paul Society report has identified women and children as the new class of homeless people in Australia.
The report seeks to correct what it says is a misperception that the homeless are predominantly alcoholic men, sleeping in the streets.
Titled Living At Risk, the study estimates that tens of thousands of people are at risk of becoming homeless each night, due to factors like unemployment, inaccessible public housing and poverty.
The former Interfet commander in East Timor, Major General Peter Cosgrove, released the report yesterday.
Major General Cosgrove used the launch to urge Australians to recognise the suffering on their own doorstep.
"The problem is the same whether it is in Dili or Sydney, Baucau or Melbourne," he said.
"The magnitude of this task, with more than 100,000 homeless, perhaps as many as 150,000 homeless, in Australia and countless more to avoid that fate, the challenge is beyond doubt."