Homeless man left residence voluntarily, ministry says

60-year-old man featured on NET News as destitute and homeless had signed a declaration saying he was leaving a Mellieha home out of his own volition • Social Solidarity Ministry says man was thrown out from his home by the family

Alfred Spiteri, who was featured in a NET News story on Sunday, left a night shelter out of his own volition
Alfred Spiteri, who was featured in a NET News story on Sunday, left a night shelter out of his own volition

Alfred Spiteri, a 60-year-old homeless man who was featured on a NET News report on Sunday, had refused to be housed in residence which was offered to him by the government, the Social Solidarity Ministry maintained today, and had also signed a declaration saying he was voluntarily leaving a night shelter.

The declaration, published by the social solidarity ministry, signed by Alfred Spiteri showing he was voluntarily leaving a night shelter in Mellieha
The declaration, published by the social solidarity ministry, signed by Alfred Spiteri showing he was voluntarily leaving a night shelter in Mellieha

Spiteri’s story had been reported by the Nationalist Party’s media, which had claimed that the man had been living in a cellar in Valletta, which was described as cold, dirty, humid and foul-smelling. The underground room also lacked any form of electrical lighting, leaving Spiteri with a torch as his only light source, the report said.

In a press release, the ministry explained that Spiteri - who, according to a police report, was thrown out by his own family - had turned up at the ministry on 7 February, and told them he had been homeless for a number of hours.

“The ministry immediately made arrangements for the man to be sent to a night shelter in Mellieha to spend the night there,” the press release said, “In less than an hour, a taxi had been ordered to take the man to this home.”

“The next morning, an Agenzija Sapport social worker had visited Spiteri to talk to him, and a process was started for Spiteri to be homed in another residence. However, he insisted that he did not want to do this, and even signed a paper declaring he was leaving the Mellieha home voluntarily.”

The declaration signed by Spiteri was published by the ministry.

“The ministry sadly notes that the Opposition’s media keeps using sensitive situations to try to gain political mileage. The government would like to work with a constructive Opposition to truly help vulnerable people, however, the more time passes, the more it shows how negative and lacking in substance it is,” the ministry claimed.

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