Confessional: I Evicted a Homeless Man

by Queen Bee on 12/09/2012

Today I feel like a really horrible person who lacks compassion for others. For the past couple of days, my dogs have been crazily barking day and night at what I suspected was a homeless person living in a small space between the business next door and our house. Every morning, I have noticed a man sitting out on the curb next to my house. Today I pretty much had him evicted from wherever he’s been sleeping over there and I feel horrible and guilty.

My boyfriend is out of the country and for a couple of days I have felt unsafe. I haven’t been able to sleep well because the dogs are barking all night, and I feel like the man is watching my every move in the morning because he just sits there and stares. Yesterday I called the police to ask for an extra patrol, hoping that it would scare him away. Of course the police just never showed up. And then I felt guilty calling the police because, well, I technically don’t own the small space between the business and my house nor do I own the curb that he is sitting on.

Last night I called my boyfriend’s friend to ask if he would stop by in the morning so that the homeless man would see that there is a man at the house. My boyfriend’s friend approached him and basically told him to get lost. The man told him that he didn’t want any problems, and that he was just a homeless man who is down on his luck and has a lot of problems. He also told him that there is another man living back there. And then he took off.

Once I found out that he left, I felt an enormous sense of relief, but an overwhelming sense of guilt that I threw someone out of a safe space, merely because I was scared and the barking dogs were driving me crazy. I was unprepared for the enormous sadness that I have felt over this. I have literally been sitting in my house for almost two hours, crying out of guilt and shame. Especially during the holiday season, I feel that I lack compassion for people who are less fortunate than me. I feel that I harmed another person or hurt another person’s feelings. I feel like I treated another person as if they were a leper.

This morning, I opened up my facebook and posted the following comment:

I feel so horribly, horribly, horribly, horribly guilty. There has been a homeless man living right behind the wall to my house and the dogs have been barking nonstop for three days. I know he’s out there at night, and he sits there all day. Yesterday it started freaking me out so I called the police for an extra patrol, but of course they never showed up. Then I felt guilt because well, I don’t own the ally way next door and I don’t own the curb next to my house. And, I felt like I was evicting a homeless man. So I called my boyfriend’s friend this morning and he told him to get lost. The man said he’s just homeless and has a lot of problems, that he’s not doing any harm. Then he said there is another homeless guy living there too. I feel so guilty and horrible because he has nowhere to go and I should be helping him, but I also know that there are so many who need help. I know this sounds overly emotional but I really feel like a bad person. But on the other end I feel like I am a woman home alone and there are strange men sitting right outside next to the dogs who are barking, and I just want to be safe because how do I know that they won’t do something to me. But I can’t help feeling like I am a horrible person because I should have been more concerned with feeding him than kicking him out. Seeing a huge increase in homeless people is just starting to break my heart. I’m not talking about the annoying drunks that ask for money, but just the quiet homeless people who are trying to survive=(

In response to my comment, two of my Facebook friends commented that they understood how I felt and that I need to do what I have to do to protect myself. One of my friends commented that she recently watched the news about a man who waited in a woman’s back yard and then dragged her into the house to kill her. I also just called and asked my boyfriend’s friend if he was mean to the man, and told him that I felt guilty about evicting him from his bush or ally. “Don’t feel guilty,” he said, “there are tons of other bushes out there. Let me know if the other man comes back so I can chase him off too”. None of this eases my guilt though.

A few minutes ago, I received a private message from another one of my friends, which said:

just ready your FB posts
how are you doing
be careful not to let fear run you
there is a purpose for all that takes place in our lives
we are so privileged like no other people in the world
take care of yourself
know that we are all working off karma
including the folks in the alley
be your true self

Now I am just confused and don’t know what to think or feel. I feel that I definitely am operating off of fear, considering that I am prone to paranoia at times. Stories about men lying in wait for women to attack, rape and kill them scare the hell out of me. And perhaps they also make me fear people who are doing nothing more than just trying to survive on the streets.

I am not a religious person, and sometimes I even doubt the authenticity of much of what is espoused by organized religion, but as I sit here, I ask myself: What would Jesus have done? Certainly I think that he would have been ashamed of my actions and lack of compassion. Maybe he would have walked over there and left food and water out there for him. But then it keeps coming back to this: I am a woman, and I am afraid of him. I am afraid that he is out there, I am afraid that he is mentally ill and will suddenly stalk me or do something worse to me. My fear is getting in the way of my compassion and love for another human being.

At this point I am not sure what I am going to do if and when he or the other homeless man come back. I feel too ashamed to try to kick them out again. I suppose that all that I can really do is to try to not be guided by fear and assume that they have good intentions. I will just have to hope that the dogs will get used to those particular men and won’t become desensitized to other strangers. Because when it all boils down to it, no matter what I should treat other people with the dignity and respect that all human beings deserve.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

beri blackmouth December 9, 2012 at 7:55 pm

i like your boyfriend’s friends response….”there are plenty of other bushes out there”… did the right thing as far as i am concerned..just give back to the community always….even in the movie Patch Adams a girl gets murdered because she was trying to help…


Queen Bee December 9, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Well pretty much I’m paranoid all the time so I am not going to worry about getting murdered. Technically my neighbor that looks like a normal person could murder me so I can’t always worry if I am gonna get murdered. And probably for every person who gets murdered by helping there are a million who don’t


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