I came home a few days ago around 9pm, pretty normal for me. As I opened the door to the stairwell, which leads to the door to my apartment, I heard snoring. Really loud snoring. I turned on the light, looked down the stairs to the next landing, and saw a man sleeping (i.e. passed out) on the floor. I had two choices at this point. I could either open my apartment door, lock it tightly behind me, and go to sleep, or I could try to get rid of the guy sleeping on the floor, a mere 10 feet from my home. Any guesses?
Of course, I didn't relish the thought of waking this guy up & asking him, in my less-than-perfect Polish, to please find somewhere else to sleep. So I went across the hall to my neighbors - you remember them, the ones with the vicious dog that likes the taste of my knee. I managed to stumble through something about there being a man asleep on the stairs, at which point my neighbor (someday, I have GOT to learn their names!) checked it out, said he would call the police, and told me, under his breath, "He's probably homeless." Um, thanks, I had a hunch.
About 20 minutes later, I heard the door to the stairway close, and the muffled sound of someone waking the guy up. I assume they escorted him out of the building. Regardless, he was gone in the morning & hasn't been back.
So here's my question, which I know no one can answer for me - why didn't I just let the poor guy sleep it off on the stairs? I would have been perfectly safe behind 2 locked doors, and he would have had a warm place to sleep for the night. Although, having had a warm place to sleep for one night, what would have stopped him from camping out there all winter?
OK, maybe I have my answer. But I still feel some of that middle-class, liberal guilt about the whole thing. I really do believe there should be shelters available for the homeless. I have no idea if such facilities exist in Poland. However, I don't want the stairwell of my building to be one of them.