DEAR ABBY: A few months ago, I moved into a new apartment. The complex, while not luxurious, is quite nice.
A few weeks after I moved in, one of my neighbors informed me that the woman who lives across from me is running a business from her home. Her "services" are illegal, if you know what I mean. I have noticed that whenever I leave my apartment, or return to it, there is yet another strange man entering or leaving.
I am conflicted. This is my home, too, and I shouldn't have to worry about these characters. What if they mistake my door for hers? Also, I have overheard this woman on her cell phone making arrangements for these individuals to come over. She even gives out the gate code to them.
Although I would like to report these illegal activities, I'm afraid of retaliation. What is the best way to handle this? Or should I just look the other way and mind my own business, the way the other neighbors have? -- IT'S MY HOME, TOO, IN WASHINGTON STATE
DEAR M.H.T.: You and the person who clued you into what has been going on should discuss this matter with the building manager or management company. They should be told exactly what you have told me, including the fact that this woman is giving out the code to the security gate willy-nilly. This is a serious breach of security for every tenant who lives there, and you have a valid reason for concern.
P.S. If you do not feel safe, you should move.
DEAR ABBY: My 20-year-old son, "Gabriel," is suffering from the onset of psychosis. His mother and I have been working with local mental health officials to have him committed to a hospital so he can receive the treatment he so desperately needs.
While my wife was driving him to the hospital, Gabe jumped out of the moving vehicle and took off. He wasn't found for 10 days. When he was returned, we were able to have him committed, and he is now undergoing treatment.
Since then, Gabe has begun talking about his "adventure," which involved walking more than 200 miles. At the time he fled, he was wearing only a shirt, shorts, slippers and a hat. He had $10 on him. He said he made his way through swamps and woods, and was covered with mud and ticks.
After walking for two days, a woman began walking beside him and asked if she could help. Her name was Gay. She took my son into her home, where he was welcomed by her husband and daughter. They also gave him some food and money when he left.
Our son could have died had it not been for Gay and her family. Since we don't know the last name or exact location of these Good Samaritans, a letter in your column is the only way we have to express our deep gratitude. Thank you, and may God bless each of you for your kindness. -- GRATEFUL DAD, ALEXANDRIA, VA.
DEAR GRATEFUL DAD: I'm pleased to print your letter. Not only does it convey your feelings, it also serves as a reminder that the mentally ill people we see living on our streets and in our alleys -- instead of in hospitals where they should be receiving treatment -- are ALL somebody's children. And even if their families are not involved, they are still children of God.
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