The comedian and actor, who has been spending more time in London with girlfriend Jemima Khan, has stunned his pals with his generosity in allowing them to "chill out" at his lavish $3.4 million pad while he is away.
A source told the Daily Star newspaper: "It's keeping a roof over their heads, and they're good people who don't bother anyone so he doesn't see the harm.
"They just chill out and watch TV in the home cinema, or relax by the pool overlooking LA.
"They're never seen anything like it in their lives. They're in awe of Russell and his generosity."
The 38-year-old star's Beverly Hills mansion is just yards away from properties owned by Jennifer Aniston and Keanu Reeves but Russell makes sure his guests are supervised during their stay so that they don't annoy his celebrity neighbours.
The source continued: "Russell knows having his pals unsupervised would be pushing his luck, and probably his neighbours' patience.
"So he's got a friend of his from the charity he runs to stay over with them and make sure everything's in order. It's been working out fine."
In the past, the comedian, who is a former heroin addict, has given homeless people lifts in a car, taken them out for meals and handed out cash in the street.
He was also once seen helping a man riffle through a rubbish bin.