It is 9 Am here in Edinburgh on Saturday morning. I had a full week of training at the Bethany House, just trying to learn the in and outs of the hostel. Every morning we start off with staff prayer and the night shift crew gives us a review. Our duties through out the day include preparing meals, taking referrals from possible clients, holding flat meetings, and visiting the clients.
We have 3 different levels of clients in the House. Low, medium, and high. We house 7 high clients, 14 medium, and 7 low. All of the clients are divided up into 6 flats, where they share a living room and kitchen. One flat is all women (right now only 4) while the rest are all men. Some of the clients, (the low level) simply lost their job and couldn't pay their rent, while other clients (high) are fighting problems with alcoholism and other addictions.
We do not allow clients in the House if they are intoxicated or if we feel that they are a danger to the House. The clients pay for their stay at the House with the money the government supplies them with for being unemployed. Their stays can last anywhere from a couple days to one year.
There are 26 members on staff, most of them are in their mid 20's early 30's. All have a great heart for the clients and the homeless people in Edinburgh.
Yesterday was my first experience of Edinburgh weather! It was rainy, cold, and windy! This morning (Sat) is much of the same. I was able to reserve a 1 hour slot here at the library which is only about a 2 minute walk from my flat. Last night I went to an African children concert with the rest of the volunteers. Today I am meeting some guys from work at the restaurant to watch a soccer game.
Things are going well with my flate mates. Although the guy I live with, Danny, is seldom around. We both work at the Bethany House but we will be on opposite shifts. So when I work 9-9 he is off that day, and vice a versa. Danny is from Edinburgh originally so he has a lot of connections and friends here and has given me some good advice about the city. Also, Nick, the volunteer from England, is also working at the House, but he too is on an opposite shift. What this boils down to is a lot of time with females! There are only 4 guy volunteers and 12 female volunteers. I think this is God's way of "domesticating" me! All my time in college and high school was spent with a bunch of guys so I figure I had this coming! Nevertheless I have learned that living with 3 girls means simply nodding and listening to what would look "cute" in our living room. :)
Well that is my update, Mon-Wed concludes my training with the rest of the volunteers. Thank you so much for all of your e-mails it means so much. I'm sorry I have not done the best job responding. Also I'm not sure if I put my updated address on here so here it is
7 (2F2) North Fort
Edinburgh, United Kingdom