Dear Annie: I have gotten myself into a bit of a pickle. A few months ago, I ran into an old work acquaintance at the store. We hadn’t seen each other in several years. He asked to exchange numbers, and I did, thinking nothing of it. A day or two later, I received a text asking how things were going – small talk.
Long story short, I found out he was homeless and living on the streets. I told him I had a spare room and that he was welcome to stay. He said he couldn’t afford to pay rent. I said it was OK and that I can give him a roof over his head and that I didn’t need rent. Fast-forward a couple of months and I realize I’m paying for EVERYTHING – not just a room but also laundry supplies, food, beverages, etc.
Granted, he made a great “live-in maid,” but that’s not what I signed up for. I told him I was not willing to support him; all I agreed to was to give him a room to help. Fast-forward a couple more months and he ended up being able to provide his own groceries but still used my laundry supplies. He has replaced toilet paper once since he’s been here.
The point is I don’t want a roommate any longer. He barely does chores, and he sleeps all the time when he’s not working his part-time job. I asked what his plans were for winter because he has a seasonal job. He claims he has in several applications. I thought helping him out would give him a hand up, not a handout. I want him out, but I feel bad that if I kick him out, he’s going to be back on the streets for the winter, even though I understand his lack of motivation is not my problem. I’m tired of coming home mad almost every day because he’s a bum and does barely enough to scrape by. It may be good enough for him, but it is not for me. – Regrets Being Nice
Dear Regrets Being Nice: You did a good thing, but you probably should have seen this coming. Next time your emotions move you to take drastic measures, ask yourself whether you are truly willing to accept the ramifications. In a perfect world, you would have discussed your house rules and a timeline for how long he would be living there before he moved in.
Now that you have involved yourself in his affairs, you can’t very well just kick him onto the street. Agree on a move-out date that will give him enough time to find affordable housing and a new job. If that doesn’t motivate him, then you can always give him the contact information for homelessness assistance programs in your state.
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