My wife and I have taken in a number of needy individuals. One was a 77 year old woman who lost her low-rent accommodations and needed time to arrange her affairs to be able to live on her social security. Another was a gentleman with alcohol abuse who needed a place to stay while completing a county rehabilitation program and seeking employment. A third was a young man who was estranged from his family and needed time to complete his high school equivalency, take some college courses, and find a career. He is now employed as a sports coach. We have never had any problems with any of the people we have taken in.

RB, Walnut Creek

I have taken in many folks referred by St. Paul’s Church into my 2-bedroom condominium since I retired as a chemical engineer. I offer one of my rooms and I also have two couches. I currently have a young man who is getting medical treatment at the county hospital. Recently I took in a woman who had been sleeping in a car until the owner left town. I believe that a warm, welcoming place to sleep is critical to provide, especially in cold weather. I try to help with life skills. I encouraged one woman who stayed with me to take community college courses in geriatric care. She is now living with and caring for an elderly couple. I have never, ever had anything stolen, people are so thankful for the kindness. So many of the poverty stricken are just as intelligent and worthy as those well-off, it is just by circumstance that they need our temporary help.

RH, Walnut Creek, CA

I regularly host singles (mostly men) and couples in my home, referred from community agencies, from one to three at a time. I do it to pay back all the generosity I have benefited from in my life. I carefully interview folks before accepting them, and every guest has been appreciative. The typical stay has been 3-6 months. I have never had a legal problem or anything stolen. I generally ask my guests to do some work to help out. If it isn’t working out after a few days I politely ask them to leave and they always do. One of my dad’s coworkers became homeless and contacted me needing a place to stay, under the promise I wouldn’t tell my dad. He stayed a while, got on his feet, then on his own accord told my dad one day what I did for him. Hearing my dad say how proud he was of me was the best day of my life. 

Excerpted from

I took in Emerald after meeting with her at a local coffee shop and learning she was employed but living in a friend’s storage unit, sleeping on a cold concrete floor. I was apprehensive at first but after speaking with her I had a good feeling she was responsible and safe. We spent a lot of time talking and some of her history was hard to hear. She offered to help with cleaning and errands, but I preferred that she focus on improving her situation. She left after two weeks, after finding a low cost room she could afford with a friend. I learned that strangers in need are not stereotypes, in fact they can be stronger than us in many ways. Excerpted from Huffington Post.

GC, Huffington Post