One of the women who we serve regularly is excited about potential housing. In a previous journal, I believe we’ve mentioned her and the potential safety issues of moving in with someone that she may not fully trust. I was reminded of this dilemma while we spoke with her again and while we fronted the cold air. The woman has medical problems, uses a walker and while seemingly cognitively capable, she definitely has physical limitations. The weather is a big influence on her decision. She is very anxious to potentially get off of the street and out of the cold with a rent that she thinks she and the other person can manage. We wish her well and will support whatever option she chooses. While we want her warm and housed, we also want her safe.
The woman that we accompanied to the hospital a few weeks ago for a sexual assault has not visited us since that night. We are concerned about her and pray for her well-being. Being as vulnerable as she is, it is not hard to imagine that she would be taken advantage of again. When we develop relationships with those we serve and support them through their experiences, it is difficult to not want to provide some protection for them. However, they are adults and we cannot “fix” their problems. We can, and do, support them as they travel through their situations.
I had the joy of helping deliver Christmas baskets containing food to several people who are now in permanent housing. The difference in their demeanor's from living without housing to now is amazing. Their faces show less stress, their body language is much looser and relaxed. One woman has lost weight and is becoming healthier. It is so enjoyable to see these folks happy and not in their constant worry about how they’ll survive day to day.
The cold is definitely here! Please look at the needs list for our current needs and wishes. I’m happy to say that it appears as though we are set for the winter with hand warmers so I have removed them from the list. We are in need of coats and jackets that are 2 XL or larger, those are our greatest requests as of now. Because of the abundance of items that we’ve received over the last several months – THANK YOU! – I’ve shortened the wish list to just a few yet much needed items.
In closing, I’d like to wish you all a Happy Holiday! It has been an absolute pleasure working with you and getting to know many of you over this last year. I’ve learned how incredibly generous and kind people can be to those in need and am frequently reminded of the power of prayer. I look forward to continue working with you for the care of those we serve.
From all of the volunteers and on behalf of those we serve, thank you so very much for your interest, dedication, support and donations over the last year. Without you, the Street Ministry would not be able to do what we do.
Blessings to all, stay warm and safe!
Karen - Nurse, Plymouth Street Ministry