Helping People to Help People
Staying overnight at the YMCA leaves no patron under any illusion that the room will be too comfortable, secure or climate controlled for convenience. However, what most expect to get for the small change it costs to sleep there per night is a dry and clean bed and certainly better security than they'd get sleeping rough out in the open.
There are a lot of unfounded myths doing the rounds amongst potential customers that have some fearful the experience may not be a particularly pleasant one. Of course, this is not true, but still there are certain fears of the unknown that plague many that would like to try it for themselves.
So let's allay some of those fears and bust some of those myths because this is a place you can stay at for less than most anywhere else and it's a lot better than many think.
Myth #1: The Beds are Dirty and have Bed Bugs and Fleas
Many hold the image of being awoken in the night by the bites of bed bugs or being eaten alive by fleas and other biting insects when they stay at one of these places.
Untrue! All beds and bedding are kept clean and fresh for each new patron. Rooms are regularly treated to ensure no bug infestations and a good level of general cleanliness is observed.
Windows have insect screens fitted to keep flying pests out while enabling you to leave the window open overnight when it's hot to allow the cool night air in.
Myth #2: You Have to Share with Scary Strangers
While it is true that at certain times when things are busy you may have to share your room with a stranger, we don't put you with anyone you don't want to share with! The likelihood of you being paired with an escaped murderer or something equally as scary is zero!
There is also the notion that a vulnerable woman will be placed with an unsavory looking guy that might turn out to be a predatory sex offender but this does not happen. A woman is always given the options to share with another woman or a man with another man.
Myth #3: In Summer Rooms Are Very Hot and Lack Ventilation
Untrue! While it can be tough to go head to head with Mother Nature, in general the rooms are well ventilated and inside temperatures are comfortable. Windows fitted with fly-screens can be safely opened at night to allow cool breezes to ventilate the room while flying biting insects are kept out.
In some locations where outside temperatures get too hot, rooms may be equipped with centralized air conditioning or vent free evaporative air coolers (in areas of low humidity). Just don't expect it at all locations because it depends on how well funded the individual YMCA happens to be. If they can afford to fit cooling appliances, they will.
Myth #4: Your Valuables Will Be Stolen
While this can happen, just as it can happen no matter where you are staying be it the YMCA or a five star hotel, instances are isolated and happen infrequently. The chances of someone's valuables being stolen increase dramatically when they lack the common sense to keep money or credit cards about their person or leave valuable laying around in plain sight.
Security is a big issue for travellers all over the world and for the most part, people tend to complete their journeys with all their stuff intact after having a really enjoyable time. For a few unfortunate ones, valuables are stolen from backpacks when they're left unattended in unlocked rooms or when they are carelessly left on bedside tables or shelves in full view of a potential opportunist thief who happens to be passing by.