We weren't sure what to do. We wanted to help him but such situations are usually complicated by functional difficulties, and sometimes drug or alcohol abuse.... you know. Our neighbor who is a social worker said that if we didn't ask him to leave, in a loving and supportive way, telling him what his options were, etc., eventually more people would be camping out back there. They would be going to the bathroom back there. (They have to go somewhere!) They would leave more garbage. And we wondered about the safety issues....
I thought of leaving him food or money.....
We thought of calling the police, but never did.
We thought of talking to him and telling him where the shelter is and other places he could go for help, but my husband never actually found him back there. It was clear he was continuing to return but perhaps not till late at night.
I didn't like to leave the kids home alone during that time, not knowing what to expect. There was a stranger practically in our yard.
Then, one day as I was praying at my bedroom window, though the tree branches, I could see a man walking away with a cardboard box and then coming back for something else. Somehow I didn't think it was our homeless man. I think it might have been someone from the church that
actually owns the property. I hope they spoke with him and didn't just throw his things away. Or that it was indeed the man and he decided to move to a shelter-- or, who knows, perhaps his circumstances changed.
I'm not sure what the best thing was to do in that situation. We can continue to pray for him which is no doubt the most important gift we could give him. (That being true for all people and not just the homeless.)
The homeless are clearly among the poorest of our poor. What is our responsibility to them?
I'm wondering, in particular, if we should have done something for him.