Plymouth Street Ministry Journal, Tues, Oct. 25, 2016
Out in service this evening were Brian, Sam, Mariah, Jake, Brent, Barb, Michelle, Pastor Mike, and myself. We served about 30 people, many we have met before and the others were new.
A man and woman appeared near the end of the evening and were grateful for our service. They needed a few things that we didn’t have at the time such as winter boots and thermals. We took their names and will provide it as soon as we are able. The pair were willing to talk and I found their story interesting but concerning. The woman is the mother of the adult male, she monitors his health and cares for him after his transplanted kidney has started to fail. They came to the area from the Chicago nearly a month ago and have struggled since their arrival. According to the son, they have applied for housing assistance and believe they should get some type of an apartment within the next month.
It seems that every night, both the nights that we’re out in service as well as other nights, some of our friends that we serve are unable to get into the shelter due to lack of space. Some of the people are older and have medical problems. On cold and rainy nights, we have not been comfortable with them wandering around the city and have put them into a motel. We know that this is not a long term fix but we’re uncomfortable with them out on the street suffering especially in the cold and wet weather. The weather will only get worse and our fragile budget cannot support frequent motel stays. I wish there was an easy solution for this problem.
-Karen - street nurse
Plymouth Street Ministry Journal October 22, 2016
It was a busy week out on the street and the people we serve need your continued prayers and support while we transition to the colder season. To live without permanent shelter requires knowledge: knowledge of where to find safety, where to obtain food, where to get water and use a bathroom, knowledge of where to find a place to sleep and knowledge of who is safe and who might not be. This can be difficult in temperate weather but now that the cool weather is settling on us, our friends need to consider their safety in terms of staying warm. The Street Ministry, with your support, will be available to our brothers and sisters and help them along their journey.
Due to other obligations, I was unable to be on the street this week and I missed it. The people we serve become like family members and missing their stories, their challenges and their triumphs left me a little empty this week. I did, however, spend some time in our storeroom and was able to take stock of what our friends on the street are in need of, those needs will be reflected on the needs list. Please take a look and if able, please donate an item or two
PLYMOUTH STREET MINISTRY JOURNAL NOTES - OCTOBER 17, 2016
Autumn is here! The days and nights are getting cooler and we're receiving requests for hoodies and jackets. While autumn is my favorite season, I am aware that the people we serve are not as happy about it. They are very aware of what follows autumn: more challenges to stay warm and safe, dry and content. Many people have desperation in their voices and hearts when they talk about the need to find housing as soon as possible. Some will be successful and others will have challenges that they may not be able to overcome. We, the street ministry, will be available for support and friendship no matter what happens.
With the crisper weather, our needs list has items on it that we're in great need of. Thank you to all of you who have donated hoodies. I wish I could accurately describe how truly grateful people are when getting such an item. Also on the needs list is water. Accessing water in community locations becomes more difficult in the fall and winter: the city turns the water off in parks and the bathrooms are locked. Year round many businesses have restrictions on restrooms. Dehydration is always a concern, please consider donating a case of water. Take a look at the list and let us know if you have questions!
As always, thank you so much for your support of the street ministry. We couldn't do this without you!
Karen - street nurse
Plymouth Street Ministry Journal - October 4, 2016
I can hardly believe it's October. As the sun dropped down and the temperature also started dropping, we commented how much cooler and dryer the air is and how early darkness comes. Out in that early darkness today were Jake, Brent, Mariah, Chuck, Sam, Barb, Becky, Michelle and myself.
Early in the evening an older woman came to visit. She was very friendly and very willing to talk. She had arrived in Eau Claire from her home in Birmingham, Alabama. She said she'd come to live with her son and had done just that for several weeks. The woman said she and her son were told by the landlord that if she continued to stay in the apartment long term that they would all be evicted because having people live there but not on the lease was against the lease agreement. She decided to leave the apartment and stay at the elsewhere. She is looking for an apartment and seems to have a good idea of who she needs to talk with to get assistance with housing.
The young woman we've written about with the three young children came this evening. We have not seen her in several weeks and we are always concerned about her and the children's safety. She stayed and talked for a long time with Mariah and tried to reassure all of us that she was safe and healthy.
We served only 28 this evening, a small number compared to a month ago when were working with around 60 or more people. It's hard to pinpoint why there is the change in numbers of visitors. We will continue to serve regardless of the numbers we see.
As always, thank you for your interest and support of the street ministry.