** This article is based on nonfiction by actual events that I have experienced firsthand; used with permission.
Not everyone who is homeless is a creep. Often, families are left homeless due to abusive situations, loss of a job, medical issues, or other down on your luck type of events. This is the case in the situation that my friend and I experienced.
My friend worked hard all of her life. She was kind of a loner, and so was I. For some reason, as loners, we gravitated toward each other’s company. This was unusual for both of us. Somehow, we forged a friendship that would last the test of time.
One afternoon my friend called me frantically. She whispered fiercely into the phone to “come quick” she had an emergency. She also made it very clear that I should come in the back way and use the back door.
When I arrived, my friend tiptoed into her living room and asked me to do the same. As I followed her, she gently pulled back the side of the curtain, and I saw that there were some people sleeping on her front porch.
I stepped back into the kitchen with her and asked her who they were. She didn’t know. Neither did I. So we decided that we should probably call the police. The police arrived with all the pomp and circumstance expected, and my friend and I walked around the front of the house. We chose not to go through the front door as the people sleeping on the porch were unknown to us, and we weren’t sure about our safety.
The police woke up the people sleeping and asked them if they lived there. Of course, they answered that they didn’t live there. After interviewing the people and making sure that there weren’t any warrants out on any of them, the police sent them on their way and told them that they couldn’t return as it was private property.
My friend and I thought this would be the end of it, but it wasn’t. The very next morning, my friend awoke to the same people sleeping on her front porch. Empowered by knowing that the police had already spoken to this family, my friend stepped outside, introduced herself, and reminded them that the police had told them not to return. She demanded to know why they were again sleeping on her front porch. The woman told my friend that she was there to answer her ad in the paper. She had been afraid to mention this to the police because she was afraid she would have to return to an abusive relationship.
My friend had indeed put an ad in the paper for housekeeping and some light cooking the previous week. The lady had mentioned this ad. She had called for an interview, but my friend hadn’t called anyone back as of yet to interview them. The woman had traced the landline to this address.
The woman told my friend her name and introduced her three children, all under the age of 14. She explained that she was homeless due to leaving an abusive ex-husband and wasn’t sure what to do. She just wanted a job so she could care for her children. She had fled a small town in search of a larger city where her skills could be used and she would have a better chance of starting over.
My friend pondered this for a few moments and asked the woman what her skills were. Upon learning that the woman enjoyed cooking and cleaning, my friend asked her what she charged per hour. The woman looked around her and told my friend that she just wanted room and board for herself and her three children.
Truthfully, this was a very strange turn of events, and my friend was rather puzzled. She had placed the ad because she was pretty busy with her new photography business and didn’t have time to maintain her home and cook healthy meals for herself. She had a rather large house that her family had owned before she bought it from a relative, and she wanted to maintain it as it should be. She knew that she had plenty of room for this woman and her children, but did she want to take such a risk?
Since my friend hadn’t yet returned any calls regarding the position, she decided to interview the woman on the spot. They agreed on a 30-day trial; if it worked out, they would go from there. The woman and my friend forged a great friendship, and when the 30-day trial was up, they agreed that she could continue working there.
The children were thriving, and the 14-year-old boy showed a great interest in landscaping and maintaining the yard. While I realize not all homeless situations work out like this, this particular case worked out for everyone. My friend found the help she needed and the homeless family found a safe situation to live in. Over the years, they became like family, and even though the homeless lady eventually remarried and moved away, my friend remains in contact with them to this day.
Not all homeless people are creeps. Not all homeless stories end well as this one did. Had someone told me that this happened, I might have questioned this story myself, but I saw the homeless family sleeping on her porch with my own eyes. I watched this unfold and end well. What would you have done if it were your porch? Would you have reached out and helped? Or would you have called the police to return?