It is a 50-50 thing...of the previous 2 people who were allowed to do this, one became Catholic through RCIA and is steadily making improvement getting on his feet (he now lives with his sister and volunteers at the parish), while the other sadly was found to be the one breaking into our money boxes (for candles and publications) and wine closet and parish office, and he was kicked out.
I think it is awesome that your parish continues to take the risk and give people chances.
Shultzz and Grace,
It wasn't always like this. The parish needed a pastor willing to take the risks while maintaining appropriate boundaries. One of the risks that was realized was the neighborhood complained a great deal about the congregation of rough-looking people (mostly men) around the parish facilities at certain times of the week. Some complaints were for good reason...at the start, our guests were leaving liquor bottles outside and wandering around in the neighborhood. Our left-leaning local paper ironically even did a story critical of the parish for causing neighbors concern...an ironic situation because this paper is a consistent supporter of government welfare and doesn't seem to give a darn about the fallout from government welfare programs when it comes to neighborhood safety...it must be that it is a Catholic parish doing the work that raised the pique of the local rag.
The pastor and a very dedicated married couple persevered through the startup dificulties, however, and now the rough-looking congregation is quite orderly and peaceful. They police themselves and they assist in the clean-up of the facilities. And they seem to appear and disappear without being conspicuous to the neighborhood any longer. The parish now is widely known around the metro-Detroit area for the services it offers; local police refer indigent people to us; businesses donate much food; city-wide, residents donate clothes and money and bicycles and other useful stuff; the married couple has even worked out a program with an optometry business to provide an annual eye checkup and a pair of glasses each year. And we supply food and assistance to inner-city parishes operating smaller food banks.
All with no government taxation or help, by the way. Indeed, representatives of a government homeless program set up shop in our gym one day while this was going on, and one of the representatives told the woman running our program that we shouldn't be praying as part of this program, or the government representatives would have to leave. She told them to leave.