It’s easy to say you’re kind and open minded when it’s all in theory–when nothing is challenging you in real life. This is a bit long, so I apologize, but I need some advice on what to do.
We live in a pretty modest neighborhood in Danville, a moderately affluent town in the SF Bay Area. I hate how this sounds, but we recently got new neighbors who ::ahem:: “don’t fit in”. They share the rental with an old man who just lives here on weekends, so they only pay about $700 per month rent.
The woman, Cindi, is about 5’2", about 85 pounds, and introduced herself to me while stumbling around the street, slurring her words, & wearing a jumper which was open to her belly button. She hugged me & told me her life story, but she didn’t remember meeting me three days later, so she did it again. She has a ten year old son, Kevin, who goes to school with my daughter. At open house, she rambled on and on, nearly incoherently, until her boyfriend nudged her to be quiet.
Within 7 months of living here, she’s been in jail for 2 months, plays music so loud it vibrates my windows across the street, crashed her car into another neighbor’s car (totaled both), & lost her license so she now has no car. While she was in jail, she had a boyfriend move in to take care of her son. He stayed. He curses at the kids next door for making noise. He catcalls us and says unintelligible things. My friends & I completely ignore them.
The police have been to her house at least 4 times, arresting her once, her visitors twice & her boyfriend once. Two of those times Cindi was yelling and screaming at the police and made BIG scenes.
Kevin is very nice. He’s a good student and doesn’t get into any trouble. We live at the top of a pretty steep hill and he rides his bike almost 2 miles to and from school every day. (California schools—no buses) I offered to give him rides on rainy days. The other day it rained after school & he took me up on it. I tried to put his bike into my van. It was at least 40lbs. It was the crappiest bike I’ve ever seen. Steel, only one speed works, the seat was hard plastic, with holes in it, and the front wheel wouldn’t come off to make it fit better. He rides this uphill for 1.5 miles every day! Poor kid.
Now I want to take up a collection to buy him a better bike for Xmas, but my neighbors and my husband think I should just stay clear away from these people. Cindi is unemployed & supports her son through child support & welfare. I suspect that most of her money doesn’t wind up benefiting him. I want to reach out to them, yet I am conflicted about getting involved here…