A Utah woman’s attempted act of kindness landed her in the hospital in critical condition last week and a man she believed was homeless now stands accused of slitting her throat after she let him into her house to take a shower.
According to the Salt Lake City Police Department, 30-year-old Eric Jones has been booked on charges of aggravated assault after being connected to the grisly scene.
On Feb. 6, police responded to calls of a woman bleeding heavily. The woman was transported to a local hospital in critical condition and received emergency surgery.
She has since been upgraded to critical but stable and has requested her identity remain private. The SLCPD has requested that the media refrain from contacting her.
The incident prompted the investigation leading to Jones’ arrest on Feb. 11.
According to her account, Jones cut her throat in her home after she invited him in to use her shower. She described him as appearing to be homeless.
I can certainly understand this woman’s desire to serve her neighbor by allowing him to use her bathroom facilities, but as a Christian who also grew up in San Francisco, I’ve got to say this is not an act of kindness I’d advise any woman to extend, no matter how pitiable their neighbor may appear to be.
We are all made in God’s image, which means we can both open our hearts and keep our heads engaged to protect our own persons when ministering to others, also made in His image, who find themselves in need.
It is never wise for a woman to allow a man she doesn’t know into her home, and while many people end up homeless for all sorts of reasons, there’s no denying the fact that mental illness and drug addiction are among them.
Speaking of my fair hometown, which has become ground zero for the discussion of adequate solutions to homelessness (or rather, the polar opposite of adequate solutions), one shudders to imagine how many incidents like this could occur if more residents opened their homes to the homeless, as has been suggested.
Earlier this month, The Mercury News reported that some counties were footing the bill for Bay Area residents to open up spare rooms or apartments to house the region’s 30,000-strong “unhoused” population.
“This is something that someone can do when they just feel that despair of ‘oh my gosh, I just can’t stand seeing these poor people on the streets near my home,’” said Christi Carpenter, executive director of the nonprofit Safe Time, which works to place “unhoused” college students and families in spare rooms.
“There are a lot of people out there who want to do something meaningful to try to alleviate the homelessness problem,” said Richmond Mayor Tom Butt, who has partnered with the Rotary Club to place the “unhoused” in private residences.
It’s certainly very nice that Bay Area residents want to help alleviate the homelessness problem, but they’d probably do well to elect better leaders who don’t create the sort of climate that attracts homelessness.
Growing up in the area, it was an open secret that job-averse substance users from across the land migrated to San Francisco because it was less challenging to get by there as a homeless person.
I even knew multiple teenagers who left good, middle-class homes to live in Golden Gate Park because they could hang out, drink and do drugs all day.
I gather in the years since I’ve left the City by the Bay that little has changed — though perhaps this tendency by the city to attract the deliberately “unhoused” masses has increased drastically.
And yet, as a child of this notoriously homeless-infested city, I can’t for a moment imagine opening up my private home for a person to take a shower, much less take up residence, without at the very least protecting myself with weaponry that is problematic to obtain in Second Amendment-averse California.
You don’t have to forsake all faith in humanity or your calling to serve others just to be sensible.
We don’t have to judge the homeless, but we can be a good judge of safe situations — and we most certainly can judge terrible local leaders who aggravate homelessness crises and then call on the public to open up their doors to “alleviate” them.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.