Coming in From the Cold

A deep freeze exposes the plight of up to 2 million homeless

On the morning that Ronald Reagan stood under the Capitol dome and delivered his Inaugural paean to boundless opportunity, Leander V. Gilmore, 61, of "no fixed address," was found frozen to death in an abandoned house a few miles away. The cold was kinder to many others of the capital's 10,000 or so homeless. When the icy weather kept home Inaugural partygoers, several of the hosts, including a bank and a law firm, donated their uneaten goodies to the poor. Outside a Washington shelter for the homeless, ragged street people gaped as a purple van from Ridgewell's ("caterers to the elite")...

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