Friend will be homeless soon

I know someone who will soon be evicted from his apartment for non-payment of rent. His mother had been supporting him the past ten years. All the while he was unemployed and a bordering alcoholic. However, since his mom passed away about 6 months ago, his “gravy train” of financial support has slowly dwindled. His siblings do not want to continue supporting his lifestyle. His two options are to return to Florida and live in his deceased mom’s home, or become homeless in Los Angeles. He is choosing the latter! I believe that his alcoholism, depression, and mental illness (I am assuming this to be mild) is clouding his judgement.

How could I convince him to move back to Florida? How does one reason with an individual with diminished mental capacity? Life as a homeless man in LA would be a catastrophe.

I hope you’ll find a way to help him, but more that he will find a radical way to help himself.
His poor mother’s support was of a loving and concerned mother, but it also didn’t enable him to find a way sooner to stand on his own. She couldn’t see what else to do, but at the same time it may have deterred his having to take charge of his own life…a difficult dilemma for any loving parent.

It’s very painful not being able to help someone to do what is in their best interests.
However, unless you know otherwise, his siblings may want the house sold and the proceeds shared, so there may not be the option of his mother’s home, in any case. That’s only just, but it’s up to his family whether they choose compassion over justice. That they are not intending to financially support him might indicate their inclination.

And if they did not sell the house and share the proceeds, how long could the house remain available to him if he couldn’t pay rates and whatever expenses he needs for its maintenance and his food?

His problems are more radical as you know, even than just finding him a residence.
That is only a beginning, and could slip away.
Be assured of prayers for him, that he will find his way towards a more wholesome way of living his life.
Thank you for sharing your loving concern.

It sounds like he is suffering from demonic oppression to me. Is he Catholic, in a state of grace? I believe I suffered from this and what helped me most was a good confession and deliverance prayers, and life improved greatly. I was helped by Fr. John Hampsch’ ministry (in Torrance CA), and also the prayers of the Auxilium Christianorum. Your friend’s clouded mind will be cleared I pray. God bless.

It might be the best thing that can happen to him. He might hit his “bottom” as an alcoholic and seek recovery. Of course alcoholism clouds his judgment, but unfortunately other people’s rescue efforts only postpone that day when the alcoholic has to face what he/she has become. For some, that day never arrives, but for some number, once they look around and see what they’ve become, they do seek recovery. No one else can do this for them. If they are to recover, it MUST be their own decision, because what is ahead is tough and if it’s inflicted upon them by others, it won’t “take.”

The best advice I can give you is to detach with love and pray for him. You are troubled by someone else’s drinking - you qualify for Al-Anon. It can really help to hear solutions in a group support environment. Your serenity is possible even if this friend chooses to continue drinking until he dies. And you can help him more if you aren’t wrapped up in his drama. Going back to Florida and living in his mother’s home does not sound like any better of an option than what he’s choosing. If anything it will only postpone any recovery he might choose if he hits his bottom in LA.

I agree this can be a major changing point in his life. People get comfortable with their situations and need things like this to change. We get in to a comfort zones where we accept the good with the bad and give up on change and see change as a disaster or a bad thing.An example would be a woman who’s husband beats her - shes accepted the situation and allows it to continue - it becomes a comfort zone - I know that sounds crazy but its the truth - she knows what to expect and accepts it.Take her out of that comfort zone and she will see the truth and leave her husband.But she could not see it while living in that situation.The same thing could be said about people on welfare - it becomes their comfort zone and they give up and resist change .Change can be very frightening when your in your comfort zone and it stops you from making the changes that are needed to improve the situation .Its hard to believe that someone would become comfortable in a bad situation but its true.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit