As I said, I’ve got more things to write about now, but some aren’t as much fun as others.
This one is a sad tale about one of my tenants. I wrote a while back an article called Where’s the pain? where I talked about working with a government program to help house the homeless.
For the most part, I’ve liked working with the program, from a landlord’s perspective it’s definitely a win-win solution.
That being said, the program sometimes comes with baggage. As a rule, I try to keep my real estate investing a business. I try to avoid making it personal, but even still, you do get to know tenants, and are part of their lives to some extent.
Thus, I come to the tale of this article. My tenant came to me through the program. When we first met, he really stood out. Most of the people in the program are obviously in trouble, and many appear that they will always need support. This tenant was different. He seemed to have his act together and had just fallen into a bad period where he needed a little help to get back onto his feet. For many months, he was an idea tenant, no issues, continued on the path to turning around his life, got a job and was heading towards graduation from the program.
Now, I don’t know why it happened, maybe the pressure of success was too much to handle, the fear of losing his support net, or maybe something went wrong in his life, but my tenant started to use meth, and it wasn’t a good trip. In less than a month, everything turned sour for him. He did not have good “trips”, in fact he became very paranoid and destructive. When I say destructive, that may even be an understatement, he trashed everything lights, electrical plugs, stove, fridge, walls, windows, everything. He had things coming for him in his mind.
He, naturally, got evicted right away. Because of the damages (which were covered by the program), he’s now cut off from the program, most of his benefits, and is homeless once again…without any support or hope of qualifying for future support.
It’s a sad story, but also an excellent teaching tool for my kids. They could see first hand how quickly drugs can ruin your life. I’m saddened by what happened to him, and hope he’ll be able to pull himself out of his new hole, though I fear he won’t.
Lesson: Drugs may seem like an escape, but in reality it can quickly make you lose everything you have and destroy your life.