Sense & Sensitivity

Displaced Family Prefers to Stay in Houston

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have family in Texas and have been begging them to come and stay with me. Already my Houston family has been displaced, but they want to stay in town to clean up and try to get their lives back. I understand they need to get their insurance activated and all, but they are living in a temporary shelter. I don’t see why they can’t work on the phone with the insurance company and governmental offices at least for the short term.

My cousins are not listening to the voice of reason, at least as far as I am concerned. How can I get them to reconsider? They have two young children. I don’t think a shelter is any place for them during this time. -- Rescue Mode, Cincinnati

DEAR RESCUE MODE: You cannot force your family to come to you even if you do think it’s a good idea. You might consider offering to take their children until they get their home back. It might be possible for you to get them into a local school temporarily. Offer to help them in that way.

If that option is not viable either, ask what you can do to support them. They may need money -- even if it’s a small amount. Make it clear that your interest is in supporting them in whatever ways you can.

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