I don't know if you can help me or just give me some words of advice. I am lost right now.
Yesterday I had an 18 year old boy who has been a neighbor of mine for sometime come to my door and ask to spend the night.
This boy belongs to a family of Jehovah's Witnesses so naturally being of Catholic faith we never really got a chance to get to know or become friends with this family other than an occasional friendly chat or hello.
Being a little concerned about why he doesn't live at home anymore I asked what happened. He told me he had been disfellowshipped. I really didn't know what that meant but assumed he left his church.
He left his home when he turned 18 and has been staying with friends for two months now. He's homeless and sometimes sleeps on the street with shady other homeless people.
I told him that I really didn't feel right letting him into my home and said I wanted to talk with his parents first to see what was going on. He became very nervous and left shortly after I told him I wanted to talk to his parents.
When his parents came home I immediately went and talked with them about their son. They told me I did the right thing by not letting him into my home and that he is always welcome back home if he abides by their standards.
I totally bought their philosophy because it made sense to me until I came across your website. I now feel that I need to help this boy because he is being shunned by the only people he knows and loves.
I found it odd that he came to me knowing that we never really knew him. I am afraid for him because even though he is 18 years old he is mentally slow and his cognitive level of thinking is probably equivalent of a 14 year old.
I am going to talk to my priest at my church today because all I think about is this boys welfare and him getting involved with the wrong crowd. Please let me know if you have any advice or just some reassuring words for me. I could use some right about now. Thanks.
Reply: I'm sorry. This is a very sad situation. However both you and I do not have enough information. Also taking this 18 year into your home may create problems with your neighbor.
I think you're doing the right thing. Talking with your priest is a good idea. Perhaps he would now where this young man could go to get help physically, emotionally, and spiritually.