We have always strived to instill in our children a sense of caring and compassion for people but sometimes this comes around and bites you in the bum!
Sometimes we have unexpected guests who our teenagers have sprung upon us. It is not necessarily dinner they come for, I doubt that anyone would actually be that keen to savour my cooking. Invariably it is a last minute plea for friends, who we haven't previously met, to stay the night, always followed with an emotion laiden comment like "they have nowhere else to go" or "they've just been kicked out.
Our general rule is that they can stay one night. This way their immediate needs are met. They are safe and sheltered and have somewhere comfortable to sleep and are fed. We give them the opportunity to use the phone to contact parents or guardians who may be concerned as to their whereabouts. It is up to them whether they take up this option. We generally don't ask too many questions but check with our teenager for more details.
The irony of all of this is that our eldest 18+ year old daughter left home, with no money and no job and headed for another city. No doubt with a similar plea from one of her friends to a parent/guardian. One very caring and compassionate parent is now providing her with food and lodging. To that parent I thank you for your generous nature and kind spirit and hope that one day I can meet you and thank you in person.