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.