When I stopped by Plymouth last night around 9:30 p.m., women were just starting to arrive. Standing outside and then walking in from 6th avenue was a different experience than I expected. It felt like many of them relaxed as they walked in the door. I noticed because I, without realizing it, had been ramping up; getting my energy up to a place for conversation. Made noticeable by the difference, I too settled into a different mode. I thought that perhaps this was just my own perception, but in talking to the women and the staff there were many who expressed the same thing. One woman told me, “I feel safe here. I don’t get to feel that out there. Not hardly ever.”
I stood with a few women outside during a smoke break as they chatted about their lives of transition and the goals that they had for the coming weeks. One woman who has been struggling with a drug addiction was so happy to be staying here. She said that if she hadn’t been here, she would have stayed with a friend outside who also uses drugs. She thinks that she would have been able to stay clean, but she is happy that she knows she won’t have to worry about that at the shelter. She is planning to attend a Recovery Circle at Recovery Café tomorrow.
One of the staff members talked about her first impression of walking in the door at Plymouth for the WHEEL shelter. “There is a peace here, because of what this place is, and the women can feel it. They know they can come here and breathe, just breathe. They know that someone is watching over them; they know they are safe here,” she said. She spoke about how she loves working for WHEEL because she gets to take care of the women, listen to them, and pray for them.
If you are curious about the new guests we are hosting at Plymouth, take the next step, come and visit. If that idea makes you uncomfortable, that’s okay. I’d invite you to explore why that discomfort is there…and then just take a leap of faith.
If you are interested in visiting, please arrive at or after the intake time (not before), introduce yourself to the staff, and ask if you can help greet. The hours are as follows:
10 pm – 7:30 am Mondays
9:30 pm – 7:30 am Tuesdays
9:30 pm – 7:30 am Wednesdays
9:30 pm – 7:30 am Thursdays
8 pm – 7:30 am Fridays
8 pm – 7:30 am Saturdays
8 pm – 7:30 am Sundays