Annette Studmire swelled with pride as she walked through The Well on Wednesday.
The former Greyhound bus station, smelling of fresh paint and wood, is shiny and new again. And Studmire, manager of the Faithworks-sponsored location, is certainly excited to see the fruits of her labor, as well as that of countless other volunteers, become a reality.
Pointing out items that have been donated to the homeless day shelter on a recent tour, she was overwhelmed by the generosity of the community.
“Emmanuel Church donated that television. We had people donate towels and laundry detergent,” she said. “This one man has been coming in and giving some of the homeless folks new slippers.”
It’s been the common story since the doors officially opened Friday. The Well and its staff have seen a number of individuals — those looking to use the facility and a curious public.
The Rev. Wright Culpepper, director of Faithworks, feels the organization, which offers local homeless a place to shower and do laundry, is off to a good start.
“We have been in that checking-you-out stage where someone comes in and looks around a bit and then leaves,” he said. “Then they come back and stay longer. Eventually they ask for a shower and laundry.”
While Culpepper says the numbers haven’t been overwhelming, he feels the slow, steady start will help both the staff and volunteers ease into their new roles at the day shelter on Gloucester Street in downtown Brunswick.
“The numbers have not been overwhelming at this point which is good so that we can work out the bugs and also get to know our guests better. Volunteers have been great as well. They bring a great spirit,” he said.
“It will be interesting when we have bad weather to see if everyone shows up at once. Right now, we are seeing people come and go with a few staying longer sections of the day.”
Culpepper knows opening the shelter was the right move to make. He has seen changes in those who step through its doors.
“I have seen some very distinct changes in personality. Some of those who initially walked in with the weight of the world on their shoulders are now walking with more of a spring in their step. It is very encouraging,” he said.