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.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Easter Greetings

I haven't seen her in many months (see the cat story from last summer). As soon as she walked into my favorite Queen Anne bar she told me she's got something for me. It's an Easter card. See what I mean? You never know what's going to happen. Twenty-three years visiting bars and first time for that.

It was a really nice thing to do. Made a great night. Never left for a second stop -- spent the whole night visiting one tavern. It's still for sale.


Friday, July 29, 2005

Somali Family

Came in to a mess tonight. A homeless Somali family with five kids, one more on the way. I stuffed them into my Subaru (thank God -- no crash and no police) and took them to a north Seattle hotel.

Now, usually Operation Nightwatch can only pay for 1 night, and on occasions -- like a weekend -- we will pay for two. It isn't much time to figure out next steps. But I approved four nights, which will get the family through Sunday night. Partly I could do this because the hotel agreed to put seven people in a regular room (two kings) for a reasonable cost.

We pulled into the hotel parking lot and poured out of the car. The kids each took a share of the baggage and grocery sacks, I carried the three year old boy who had fallen asleep in the 20 minute car ride from downtown. The wife said something to the husband who translated. "She say, 'Whatever you want in the next life, God should give you.'" I thanked her.

Now the hotel clerk saw this huge family and took it all in stride. The sign in procedure was accomplished, and then the most amazing thing happened. It isn't the fanciest hotel in the world -- lots of poor folk getting by here. So we went to the room, and the clerk actually helped to carry the baggage, just like the best hotel in the world. It was truly amazing and heart warming.

As we said our goodbye's, the wife had one more really nice thing to say to me. She had a large heavy duty plastic shopping bag with her. "This bag was given to me by a European in the refugee camp in Kenya. I keep it with me and I never will forget that person who gave it to me. And I will never forget you either."

I think she'll name the baby after me.


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

More Readable

To my thousands of fans, hope this new format is easier to read!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Nice Night

Never know what's going to happen. We visited our Queen Anne Hill favorite tavern -- guess it's on the market, broken urinal and all. Anyway $175,000 and it's yours.

Regular I didn't know came up to Father Kim & I. "I never take the Lord's name in vain," he slurred, "so you m---f---ers don't have to worry about me."

But we had a nice hour visiting with friends and hanging out.

At Kelly's it was hi R#3 and Don and the big news: Bartender J's birthday. I asked her at some point if she would have been happier taking the night off. "Heck no!!!" was her response, 'cause on your birthday everyone is a big tipper -- one guy gave her $50, so she was pretty happy -- singing along to the jukebox and wearing a tiara.

Drove north on Aurora -- hi to Nite's Inn where we place homeless families. Didn't realize how timely our visit would be -- ended up putting a couple there for the night; they didn't have kids with them but she said (and looked like) she was sick -- cancer.

God bless them all.