Friends been staying with us...and we want him to leave.
I like to think of myself as a good person, a moral person. But my current living situation is testing me.
I live with my girlfriend in the Bronx. She works at a hospital, while I work and go to school in Manhattan. I love her, and are relationship is fantastic. We have a decent place in a good neighborhood. I'm happy with her there.
Things got complicated this past December. A classmate of mine ("Tim") invites me out for wings and beer. We weren't super close at the time, but he sold the place well, so I figured "Why not?" We get there, wait for a table (it was busy). Then he asks if he can talk about something important:
Tim tells me that the hasn't been able to stay in the apartment that student housing got him since some time in September. Apparently he caught his roommate stealing from him, and, understandably, asked for the student to be relocated. The school said they couldn't do that, as the other student had a history of mental illness, and they were afraid that moving him would upset him and cause him to hurt himself. They also were unable to relocate Tim at the time, and put him on a waiting list. Consequently, just as the semester began, Tim was left without a place to stay. For the next few months, he rotated between homeless shelters, the street, and the apartment of another classmate and friend. When this other friend left our school to go home to Chicago, Tim asked me (and my girlfriend) if he could stay with us.
We were hesitant. Not only did I still not know Tim terribly well, his story seemed odd (e.g. what happened to the thief? why wasn't he arrested?). Furthermore, he told us only a few days before he was about to be homeless again; with my girlfriend and i both having busy schedules, we didn't have a lot of time to discuss it. I took him in, tentatively, after the last night of our semester, promising that the three of us could talk after my girlfriends night shift had ended.
Frank told us that housing would get him a place to stay in a month. It's been nearly 4 months now.
My girlfriend and I are STILL unsure as to exactly why he lost his place, and why housing couldn't get him another. It might be financial; in January, he asked me to cosign his student loans, as he apparently couldn't get approved other wise (I agreed to do so). As for having nowhere else to stay, this seems odd too. Firstly, Tim has many friends that he talks to on the phone, sometimes late into the night. Tim went to high school in New York City, and at least a few of these friends are still in the area (he goes to visit them sometimes). I've wondered why they couldn't help him. Tim has suggested that this might be a partly due to African-American cultural norms, that it's odd for blacks in America to help each other out in such a way (Tim, by the way, is black). He also has family, both out west (his step-mother) and overseas(family who were deported). Neither of them can, apparently, take him in (e.g. the step mother is having financial troubles), and in any case, Tim is determined to stay in school, and therefore in the city.
Yet he's only able to stay in school because our housing him allows him to. Tim does work part time (at the school), but his attempts to apartment hunt have shown him that he doesn't make enough to afford anything other than public housing (for which there is a substantial waiting list). My girlfriend has suggested getting a second job, but Tim is sure he wouldn't be able to hold two jobs AND go to school at the same time.
My girlfriend and I are about to go on a vacation for two weeks. We asked Tim to be out before we left, and he agreed. On the plus side, he tells us that student housing has gotten him a place to stay...for the summer. He still has about a month to go before it kicks in. We are due to leave in a few days, and Tim still isn't sure where he's going to stay. I suggested looking into shelters again, to which he responded "I'd off myself before i went back to a shelter."
This freaked me out. I take suicide threats seriously. I asked him point blank if he was suicidal, and he gave me a flat "no". As far as i know, he has no history of mental illness, and he's never spoken to me like this before. Still, I'm worried about his mental and emotional state.
My over all question is: what should I do about Tim? Kick him out by our deadline? Make a new one? Just let him stay indefinitely? Further question:
Is it right for my girlfriend and I to want our space back, particularly considering A) we need it to host other friends and family, and B) I worry it's starting to put a strain on our relationship?
Is it right to essentially send my friend to a homeless shelter?
Should I be worried about Tim hurting himself?
Should we cancel our trip (which we've been planning since before Tim came to stay with us) to make sure Tim's ok?
Do I have reason to seriously doubt all, or part, of Tim's back-story?
Does the fact that he came to me in need obligate me to help him, even if I have reason to believe that others could help him too?
Any thoughtful advice would be GREATLY appreciated.
I was in the same situation. I offered a "homeless" friend a place for 2 weeks. I soon discovered that she was a pass-out alcoholic, in deep denial. At four months later, and the holidays approaching, I told her I was expecting a houseful of out of town relatives and she would have to leave. Surprise! She found a place to live!! That didn't last long,either. And when she got into senior citizen low income apartments, she gave the management and other residents a hard time. Observation: She was causing her own situations.
Stop worrying about WHERE he will go. THAT is his problem. Tell him that the apt. will be closed on a certain date and he must be out. Offer to help him pack up. Do this with kindness, but be FIRM that the date will not change.
Then walk away. Set his things outside the apt. if necessary.
You have been kind enough and there was always the understanding that this was temporary.
Time to reclaim your own home!
I'd kick him out by the deadline. Allowing him to stay just enables him.
Also, I'd check to ensure that all your legal affairs are in order. (i.e. that you have an eviction notice if need be, that you have it in writing that you demanded his eviction, etc. etc.)