I have four brothers (no sisters) and one of my brothers is now homeless due to severe mental depression and alcohol use. He’s had these problems most of his adult life (now at 48 yrs old) and lost a marriage and child custody because of it. He has a very hard time holding down a job, always gets into fights (and says they were accidents) and is now living on the streets. My whole family has tried through the years to help him both financially (getting him apartments, money for food/clothing, etc.), general assistance (driving him to appointments, job interviews, jail bonds, etc.) and emotional assistance (sitting with him during severe breakdowns). I feel we’ve tried everything possible including many, many prayers yet I still feel a sense of guilt for him being homeless. We cannot have him stay at our house because of his violent drinking bouts and I fear for the safety of our teenage daughter. Our parents cannot take him in for similar reasons (drinking). Same for all the other brothers. We all agree we cannot take him in. There are few shelters in our city and he doesn’t want to go to one anyway. But I cannot shake the guilt of him being out on the streets. He visits the local VA hospital (he’s a veteran) and we’ve explained to them his problems. They want to help but budget cuts have trimmed many of their programs. He’s now threatening suicide which he’s done in the past but now he’s set a timetable for it. Every agency we’ve called says they cannot force him to get help, he first has to try suicide, and fail, or hurt someone else and get mental health help in jail.
I just don’t know if our whole family, as Christians, are required to do more for him now that he’s homeless. We all feel we’ve tried everything and now feel helpless and he spirals down.
I apologize if this seems more of a rant. I’ve read much of this site and there seems to be somebody that’s experienced what other people have. I guess I’m hoping someone here has had similar experiences and can give me advice. Am I failing in my Christian responsibilites???