Street Stories

Weblog of Seattle minister to the homeless Rick Reynolds, Operation Nightwatch

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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Caring for human beings seems like the best use of my time, homeless or not.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

My Night Out

Some homeless guy was walking across Interstate 5 Ship Canal Bridge at midnight tonight. He was carrying a bag, walking on the very crest of the bridge along the eastern side of the northbound lanes. I got off the freeway -- there are a ton of people walking around, just surviving the night -- no place to go, mentally ill, abandoned. On my way home I almost ran over some strung out homeless guy who was crossing against the light.

When are we going to provide help to people? How do we balance civil rights (ie not locking people up) but push them toward treatment?

Earlier Father Kim and I were in the neighborhood bar -- Targy's. I think half the people in there are Microsoft employees slumming it. New people always have to find out if there is some subtext to my being there, am I trying to convert people. (I just like the people there -- no ulterior motives).

One of the patrons, "Joe," was trying to get me to "get drunk." He's trying to convert me, I guess. I also met several nice Catholics.

Now, I don't really care about what brand people are. I am mistaken for a Catholic priest all the time. Do you care? I am Free Methodist, but I'm convinced God doesn't care.

I spent time chatting with "Mike." He was bright -- heading out to Asia to build houses for poor people next year. Another MS worker.

Hit Kelly's Bar -- new bartender "Frank" is really nice, came over and warned Father Kim and I about getting out of line. My friend "Ken" gave us all the bar gossip -- old bartender quit after her boyfriend was 86'd out of the bar by the owner. It's a new day at Kelly's.

Conversation at the Double Header in Pioneer Square with a woman whose name I never got, and "Don" the bartender. After she left he told us she had been a hooker. No way.

Just another night on the street for the Operation Nightwatch ministers. R.


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