Woman Wants To Report Homeless Couple Living Nearby After She Worries They Might Have Overheard A Conversation About Her Upcoming Travel Plans

If they're not causing problems, why make their lives harder?

homeless man sleeping MART PRODUCTION / Pexels / Canva Pro

America has a truly staggering homelessness problem, and all too often, people have an equally staggering level of indifference, if not outright cruelty, toward their unhoused neighbors.

At the center of this is a common — and unfounded — fear that homeless people are violent criminals lying in wait. One woman on Reddit isn't quite that suspicious but is nonetheless paranoid about her homeless neighbors' potential for criminality as her and her husband's vacation approaches.


The woman wants to report a homeless couple because they overheard her travel plans.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that homelessness reached an all-time high of 653,000 people in America in 2023 — more than the entire population of some states. According to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, that count is almost certainly inaccurate, with the real number likely being as much as 10 times that.

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It's no big secret why — it's the economy, stupid, as the old saying goes. But even as we all struggle mightily to make ends meet, it doesn't seem to have inspired most people to shake off their stereotypes of the unhoused.

To be fair, this Redditor and her husband are far more accepting of their homeless neighbors than most would be. Their house abuts two empty lots, and shortly after moving in, they "learned there was a homeless man who slept in the empty lot to the left of us." 

She was 'unbothered' by the homeless man who used to use the lot beside them, but a new couple has made her wary.

The man kept a mattress on the other side of their fence beneath a tree, and she said she and her husband had no problem with him. "We're from a big city, and my spouse also works in housing and is sensitive to the issues of homeless people," she wrote. "We'd also see him around the neighborhood and have sparked up a couple of conversations."

@yourtango A gainfully employed woman was found living in a grocery store sign because she couldn't afford anywhere to live. It's just another day in the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the world #homeless #unhoused #economy #michigan #housingcrisis ♬ original sound - YourTango

But when winter came, he left and never came back, and soon, a new couple took his place. Unlike him, who only used the lot a few times a week, this couple is "there all the time, and they live in a tent."


She worries they overheard their vacation plans and will break into the house while they're gone, so she wants to call the police.

"We do spend a lot of time in our backyard," she said. "Oftentimes, we have conversations around upcoming plans, etc." And because they're so close to the fence, the homeless people are "within earshot of our conversations." This is what has her worried.

Even if they're not close enough to clearly hear them talking, she fears they're close enough to be able to monitor their comings and goings and learn their routines.

@thisislorenzoo To all the people who judge the homeless people on the street. To all the people who think their opinion is worth making another human feel worthless. #fyp ♬ original sound - thisislorenzoo

"We have a trip coming up and we'll be away for a week and a half," she went on to say. "I'm starting to feel a bit nervous about being away from our house for fear something could happen while we're gone." 


Her husband thinks she's overreacting, but she wants to call authorities and have the couple removed.

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Homeless people are disproportionately targeted by police already, and people urged the couple to just leave them alone.

Homeless people indeed have a very high rate of arrest. But contrary to many people's perceptions, it is not for violent crime — most arrests of the homeless are for petty offenses like shoplifting supplies.

Even more frequently, they are arrested for things like "loitering" that violate local laws, often directly intended to target them and essentially criminalize homelessness. One such law in Grant's Pass, Oregon, resulted in a Supreme Court case earlier this year in which the Court is expected to side with the city's attempts to outlaw sleeping outside.


Fellow Redditors urged this woman to just leave her homeless neighbors alone. "I can understand your concerns," one wrote, "but instead of calling the cops on them specifically, maybe ask for extra patrols. Also, invest in Ring Cameras if you are concerned."

"Those people aren’t hurting her or anyone else," another wrote, and several urged her and her husband to simply hire a house sitter to ensure nothing goes sideways during their vacation, especially given the way squatter's rights often work.

One person who used to work with the homeless had possibly the most sensible advice. They pointed out that most homeless people "are lovely people … who are struggling with mental illness and disabilities."

@invisiblepeopletv People walking by this homeless woman judge her for wearing lipstick 💄Why do you think that is? #homeless #invisiblepeople ♬ original sound - Invisible People

But they went on to explain that if this homeless couple is a problem, they're almost certain to suss out who called the cops on them. "These people know you’re one of the only homes neighboring their spot," one commenter added. If retaliation were in mind, they'd know right where to go.

Their verdict was that "unless they’re doing crazy [stuff] back there already, leave them alone and get a house sitter." Their lives are already hard enough. There's no need to make them worse, just for peace of mind.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.