DEAR ABBY: A good friend of 20 years has been homeless for several months. After a short stint of staying in various Airbnbs, she is now mostly living in her car. She has a good-quality, FREE living option available to her. But it would require her to move five hours away, and she doesn't want to leave her job here. Meanwhile, I have a guest room.
Since experiencing homelessness, my friend has stayed with me and my family on three different occasions, each time for about a week. But it's not a sustainable or long-term option. Long story short, we don't want a roommate.
The last time she stayed with us, my friend turned down an affordable living situation with a roommate because the house was too "gross" for her. I found it frustrating. Housing in our area is expensive, and she works part-time at most. Her talk of getting more work has gone nowhere so far.
I know I shouldn't take on her problems as my own. But it's hard to wonder about my friend's safety, where she's showering, charging her phone, keeping her food cold, etc., while my guest bedroom sits empty. Am I wrong not to open up my home to her indefinitely? I feel like she's one car lease payment away from sleeping under a bridge. On the other hand, she has options she's refusing to take. What does a good friend do in this situation? -- FORTUNATE IN OREGON
DEAR FORTUNATE: If one is wise, she lets her friend live the life she has chosen (in her car) without intervening further. As kind as you are, you cannot rescue someone who is unwilling to help herself.