As the monitor, my job was to establish relationships with the guests. I knew them by name and got to know their personalities. I was surprised how quickly we built rapport and was also continually shocked by how quickly it could evaporate. I learned about giving and receiving forgiveness.
Below are graphics that depict the average (18.4) number of guests that stayed with me for the 25 nights I worked. I worked from 6:30 PM to 6:30 AM on Thursdays and Sundays. During those 12 hours I got to interact with homeless men during check-in, dinner, a smoke break, going to sleep, waking up, and departing for the day.
Any night when there were 20 guests or more was particularly challenging for managing group dynamics. By the end of the season, working with fewer at a time seemed much more manageable, but there was still plenty of room for unexpected events. I worked hard to maintain quiet in an effort to help the guests sleep, but an overflow homeless shelter is a menagerie of activity.
Only one guest stayed with me every night that I worked. That means he was with me the nights in December at Redeemer Presbyterian and the 3 months at First Presbyterian. I worked 25 nights and the average guest was with me for 4 nights. Of the 84 guests who stayed with me almost half stayed 2 nights or less.