If you are seeing a photograph that doesn’t make much sense, it’s about Ihor.  Ihor is our local homeless guy who has decided to make the student center landing his resting place in the evenings.  At first I had no problem with it.  Instead of going the regular route and just kicking this guy off our landing, Lubomir, Shannon and I tried to do something in order to extend Christ’s love and we decided to strike up a deal with him.  The deal was that Ihor could only spend his nights there.  He had to leave before 8a.m. and come no earlier than 11p.m.  He agreed, of course, and was about as cordial a homeless, drunk fellow could be.  And so, for maybe a week it kind of worked out.  Ihor would come in the evenings and the only hang up was that sometimes he would bring his friends.

Things changed.  Ihor started coming more and more often and then regularly during the middle of the day.  Even during heavy traffic hours at the student center, I would sometimes catch Ihor trying to get some shut eye on the landing.  So, Ihor and I had a talk and we really talked; I made him talk to me and repeat what I was saying so I knew it at least had gone in his ears, through his brain, and out of his mouth.  He had three tries, three more times to be there during the wrong hours and then he couldn’t come again.  I thought that the new plan might work, but it didn’t.  In three days there were three incidents and so I told him it wasn’t working.   He wasn’t keeping up his end of the deal, and that was that.  That last time I sat there and watched him collect his boxes and odds and ends and walked him down the steps hoping not to seem him for a while.

That didn’t really work.  Ihor is still around.  His evidence on our landing is patently Ihor and some of it is visible in the photo: his cigarette butts next to where he sleeps, old used plastic bags he accumulates, cardboard boxes he uses as mattresses, his pillow which he hides in the attic door, and of course his pee on our wall, that unfortunately is both visually and nasally evident .

Considering that initially the few students who vocalized wanting to disallow Ihor to stay in the first place seem to have been right, we probably will have to take some steps to prevent further sleepings on our landing.  Considering also that our student center entry and door were severely vandalized a couple years back,  we have all the more reason to protect our space.  I wish there was another way, to both show Ihor Christ’s love and protect our space, but for someone who doesn’t want to listen, who doesn’t respect himself or others, who shows no indication of wanting to get better, I am scared we might only throw our pearls to swine.  God help you Ihor.


6 thoughts on “Ihor

  1. David,
    It was absolutely awesome of you to go that far with Ihor! You offered Christ’s love, grace which he hadn’t earned, and he rejected the free gift.

    I will add him to my prayer list tommorow.

    those are always tough situations and I praise God that he soften your heart enough to even give ihor the time of day. Your willingness to do that speaks volumnes to the students who watch you.

    be blessed,

  2. Hi, David.
    Catching up on your blog. . . gee, what a tough situation. When I gave the presentation in church a few people had questions about the homeless on your landing. I know they won’t look up the blog, so I was wondering if there was a way to
    e-mail them just this entry? Let me know.
    Love Mom

  3. Bold and daring.

    We had a homeless guy who liked our protected front sidewalk near the entrance to our medical clinic. Bought him a sandwich a couple times and talked briefly. Asked him if he needed any assistance and to move on. Explained that he was bad for business as he made our patients and employees uncomfortable and he left refuse. Then, when I would get to work in the morning, he would shuffle off. Prayed. He found another stoop.

    You have a responsibilty, David, to protect the young people at the methodist Student Center and the facility. You have done the right thing.

    Has Ihor now found another stoop?

  4. John, thanks for your comments. I think that Ihor has found another stoop but I haven’t been able to figure out where it is. I am interested to see if he shows up again as then weather gets colder and life gets much harder for homeless people.

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