DEAR HARRIETTE: A friend of mine let me know that my boyfriend from a few years back is homeless and living in a shelter. He lost his job a couple of years ago, one thing led to the next, and he lost his apartment. I feel awful for him. He is a really nice guy with a big heart. I can’t imagine what it’s like for him. My friend told me that he still has the same cellphone number. She encouraged me to call and check in on him. I’m not sure if I should. I do like him, but I don’t have any money to give him, and I’m in a relationship. Do you think it will be misleading to reconnect with him? -- Homeless Ex
DEAR HOMELESS EX: If you care about your ex -- as a person -- definitely give him a call. Tell him that you learned about his misfortune and you wanted to offer moral support. Ask him how he’s doing and what his plans are. Tell him that you are sorry that he has fallen on hard times, but you know he is a good person and you pray that he will be able to be in a better place soon.
Be upfront and let him know that you are reaching out to him as a friend only. Tell him that you are in a relationship now. If you are up for it, allow him to contact you from time to time as he manages through this difficult period.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)