Taking in the homeless?

Yesterday, my 19-year-old offered this: “How about we let a homeless kid live in our house?” She said she’d seen some homeless teens hanging out around the University of Arizona and thought she should bring them home. I asked for clarification – did she mean her house by the University of Arizona or her parent’s house? The latter, she said, sheepishly. In other words, she wanted to do something good, but she wanted me to provide that good.

Granted, she wouldn’t have asked if she’d not seen us model similar outreach as she’d grown up, but right now, in the midst of dealing with a job search and a layoff, I don’t have the urge (nor the funds) to risk being taken advantage of by a homeless 20-something. I told my daughter about Youth on their Own, for homeless teens younger than 18, and said I was certain UA would do something for them if they were homeless university students. We settled on me going with her next week to check them out and see what options we might be able to offer.

Three weeks ago, before the lay off announcement, I wouldn’t have been so pragmatic. I probably would have said, “Sure, we can keep him/her for a few days.” But now, my capacity for giving is shrinking, just like the economy. I’m not sure that is a good thing.

Your news tip of the day regards President Obama’s address at the National Prayer Breakfast and the way he plans to run the Office for Faith-Based Initiatives.

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