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.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


Got a call from Dave the other day. Hadn't heard from him in a year or more.

In 1994 he was renting a room in a flophouse and helping me out quite a bit. Told me he'd been sleeping in the woods up by North Bend. Two years out there. Had a sweet camp off the end of a dead end street.

New neighbor complained to the sheriff about him and soon the law rounded him and his stuff up, drove him into town and dropped him off outside Union Gospel Mission in the middle of Pioneer Square.

Now Dave was not a big city sort of guy. He moved around as a service kid and lived in smaller communities. Now he was suddenly having to deal with the rough crowd in the middle of town. During his few months downtown he was attacked by a guy with a knife, survived with pretty bad wounds, but did survive.

Anyway, he was off the street, barely, when I knew him, renting a single room in a flophouse run by another program. He would come in and volunteer for me at night, act as my bouncer, mop the floors for a few bucks. He moved into a new low-income building and started working until just a few months ago when health problems kept him from earning a living. So now he's behind on his rent, looking for help.

Last thing I want to see is Dave in my line at Nightwatch. Another huge problem with a $700 solution.