I love my new neighbors. They are both in their mid-20s, just a few years younger than me. She has a 10-year-old from a previous relationship, and together they have a four-month-old. They and their extended families, who frequently visit, go out of their way to be friendly and helpful. For example, even though they don’t have a car, he came out to help me shovel out mine during every blizzard Boston got pounded with this winter.

Like all of us, they are not perfect, but I think they are trying to do the best they can to make a life for themselves. He is also no angel, and speaks openly about the very serious crimes he has committed and the prison time he has done. From everything I can see, however, he has put that life behind him and is working on making a real life for himself and his family.

From my business dealings with their landlord, I happen to know that she receives Section 8 assistance, and that the landlord doesn’t know that her boyfriend is living there. I assume she is also receiving other government benefits since she doesn’t work. I’m certain that if the Housing Authority knew that her boyfriend, who is working two jobs, was living there that it would dramatically affect the level of benefits they receive.

I am conflicted as I know they are cheating the system by having him live there, but they are also exactly the types of people I want to see the system help: good, hard-working people who are trying to better themselves. Should I turn them in?

— Torn