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Parent Guilt-Ridden After Calling Cops On Homeless Person In Tent Outside Son’s Church Daycare

Homeless man in front of a tent.
Jozef Polc / 500px/Getty Images

Homelessness continues to be a growing problem all over the world.

People try to do what they can to help those without a home, by offering them money or food.

Sadly, what continues to stall any progress in helping the hungry and homeless, is that far too many people react with fear when they encounter homeless people.

In spite of the fact that they haven’t done any harm to them.

Redditor Weekly-Jump2445 was startled to discover a tent, occupied by a homeless man, near a place frequented by their young son.

Fearing for her son’s safety, the original poster (OP) did what they thought was the only solution.

Having doubts about their decision, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**Hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for requesting to remove an unhoused person from my son’s daycare parking lot?”

The OP explained why they felt the need to call the police after dropping their son off at daycare.

“This morning as I was dropping my son off at daycare I noticed a tent in the church parking lot.”

“Normally I try to ignore those as they have become increasingly common in Denver as housing prices skyrocket but this is my son’s daycare and I can not ignore a potential threat to his safety.”

“I ended up speaking to the management and they elected to have a police officer come escort them off the property.”

“I feel bad because I know that there’s ongoing efforts for addiction support at the church that perhaps he was seeking to take advantage of (or not) but I just can’t risk an episode or needles were my son plays and felt I needed to do something.”

“So am I the a**hole?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

The OP found little to no sympathy from the Reddit community, who all but unanimously found them to be the a**hole for calling the police on the homeless person.

Nearly everyone agreed that the OP made a rash, unfair judgement upon seeing the tent, and should have offered a little compassion before calling the police.


“You send your son to a daycare either next to or in the same building as a place that provides addiction support.”

“You are shocked that someone exists whom you assume is seeking addiction support.”

“It dawns on you that your son could see an ‘episode’ or get a hold of drug paraphernalia, as he attends a daycare you selected next to or in the same building that provides treatment for addiction.”

“Instead of removing your son from what you have decided is an unsafe situation, you demand a human being who you aren’t certain is causing an unsafe situation be removed because you have concluded it’s likely they might somehow cause an unsafe situation whilst seeking the services you knew were offered when you chose / dropped your son off to daycare.”

“Will you also demand the church end it’s support program too?”

“I mean, you should research your daycare, location, safety protocols BEFORE enrolling.”

‘Does the daycare allow kids to play in a parking lot?”

“Do they not have locked doors?”

“If the children can be harmed that easily by someone in a parking lot, the issues is the daycare.” kblank45


“If you saw needles scattered around, you’d be justified.”

“If you saw someone ranting and raving, you’d be justified.”

“If you saw someone who was just getting too close to the kids for comfort, you’d be justified.”

“But this person was literally just minding their own business by a church (which makes sense because it’s probably one of the very few spots where they felt they safe to settle themselves… like, they didn’t set up camp outside a playground or Chuck E Cheese) and you blew that up for them.”-cbm984

“YTA, and to assume he was an addict without proof make you a major AH.”

“There is an increase in homelessness because people cannot afford to pay the rents with the income they receive.”

“No one asks to be homeless.”

“Addictions are a disease.”

“We all have a right to housing and if we don’t to be near resources that will help us.”

“I am guessing the reason this individual picked this spot was because it was safer than anywhere else.”

“So congratulations in evicting an individual from their home.”

“Something to consider is that a large portion of the US is just one job loss or accident or illness from losing their stable housing.”

“Those without family or friend supports end up literally homeless on the streets.”

“This could easily be you and is that how you would hope to b treated by others?”

“If the person was not presenting a safety risk, then why get involved.”

“I work with folks experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity.”

“I have assisted addicts, mental health, no disabilities, families, youth, etc.”

“I can tell you the folks have ranged from generational poverty to an individual that had been a Director of Athletics at a D3 school.”

“OP and others need to spend a bit more time educating themselves before making assumptions about anyone.”- FormerIndependence36


“You’re making someone’s life more difficult based on hypotheticals, not evidence.”

“Plus really if your son ends up playing with needles in a parking lot, that’s the fault of his guardians.”

“I’m very disappointed with the managers for jumping straight to police without finding out if the church could be of assistance first.”

“I used to manage a library and had to fend of people’s complaints about homeless people doing nothing more than using a computer or quietly sitting reading newspapers.”

“People didn’t like how they had to exist in the same space it seemed.”- stophittingthyself


“Your son is in daycare, supervised by adults, not in that person’s tent.”

“Congratulations on making the life of someone who is already struggling even more miserable.”- 000-Hotaru_Tomoe


‘The church staff is aware there is a tent in the church parking lot.”- LowBalance4404


“And it seems that is the least Christian thing you could have done.”

“Call around for an outreach?”


‘Just toss his/her broke a** off Christian property because God forbid your child have to see that.”

“Statistically, your child walking in the vicinity of a homeless person while holding your hand is significantly less risky than being left alone with church folks (that you probably don’t really know).”

“Source: Personal experience.”- OldMammaSpeaks

“Was the homeless person really a threat to your son, or was he just a threat to the parking lot?”

“Because unless they let children play in the parking lot, there was no way your son, or other children btw, were at risk.”

“YTA, because you sound very judgmental and use fake empathy to get people to side with you.”-OmegaSupreme76


“You forced someone out of a safe living situation simply because you think poor people who can’t afford housing are all inherently addicts, and dangerous.”

“As a formerly homeless person i’m disgusted.”

“Hope you get evicted from your place one day so you know how they feel.”- suzpiria


“Matthew 25:40-43: Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

“I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.”- ninaa1

“What exactly did you say when you were ‘speaking to the management?'”

“If you were simply asking if they were aware of the situation, and asking them to check into it if they were not, that’s reasonable.”

“If you said what you included in your last paragraph of your OP about risk of ‘an episode’ (what exactly do you call ‘an episode’) and brought up needles that did not exist then YTA.”

“It’s understandable to ensure the management is aware of the person.”

“It is cruel and wrong to make up info to influence management to remove the person based on your prejudices.”- Radiant-Ability-3216

There were a select few, however, who felt that the OP didn’t do anything wrong, as they were only thinking of the safety of their son

“I’m going to get downvoted to hell but NAH.”

“He may have been perfectly fine but if there was an incident, which happens in Manhattan all the time btw, where say you wake a homeless person up and they are startled and either throw a punch or have a knife, then someone will sue that school because they knew he was there.”

“My heart breaks for the homeless because I see them all day every day but it just takes one time.”

“And this is by a school not next to a random Home Depot.”

“And all you YTA people, how many shelters and food kitchens do you volunteer at?”

“Just curious.”- jersey385

It’s a parent’s job to worry about their children.

Even so, a tent on the grounds of a church, where people go to seek help and refuge, doesn’t seem like sufficient cause for alarm to get the police involved.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.