Street Stories

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

My Photo
Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

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

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

WooHoo! Score One for the Home Team!

So, this morning The Family showed up again (see below). I had no idea they were coming to see me. Proof that there was confusion all around -- they were standing on the sidewalk outside of Nightwatch. Just standing there.

Ann discovered them almost by accident. They didn't know there was a door bell to ring. So they didn't tell me they were coming, they just showed up, they didn't ring the bell to the office -- a button clearly marked "OFFICE" right by the door.

What to do? It's 11:15 now, I'm calling back everyone I tried in the morning -- the Tigrinian community center, World Relief local office, the Family & Adult Service Center. There the worker said they take walk-in interviews at 11:30. She didn't sound hopeful though.

I asked them if they were hungry -- whipped up a batch of scrambled eggs, had some pastries (what a shock, Nightwatch with pastries on the premisses), whole milk (not past the pull date either) and some peanut butter and bread.

I realize they've only been in the USA since late February. Maybe peanut butter wasn't such a good idea. The eggs they ate using fingers until I realized it wasn't a cultural thing, but I forgot to give them sporks. My bad.

Then we cleaned up and hustled down to the Family & Adult Service Center on Third Ave. between Virginia and Lenora.

Walked in, and were still very graciously received, even with tons of confusion. The kids were ready to play with the toys they saw; we were hustled off to Kimberly J.'s office, where Pastor Rick and the two kids had English classes and recess (bouncing a balloon back and forth to each other). Kimberly dialed a phone number of a translator provided by the husband, nick-named "Z" by me today since his Eritrean name was six unpronounceable syllables, starting with a Z. The wife, Mulu, has an easier name. It took an hour on the nose to talk back and forth about expectations in two languages (it could have been more confusing; FASC had an Arabic speaking person on the premisses and Z speaks a little Arabic).

At the end of the interview Kimberly pronounced them fit for their program, and the happy family moved in -- two carry-on size bags, in a room with two sets of bunk beds. Teeny-tiny, but just exactly what was needed.

Thank you: World Vision, Family & Adult Service Center, Neighborhood House (for the translating service), Operation Nightwatch donors & staff, Fuller Seminary students Joe & On, plus all the various do-gooders that got this family this far along. There is a long ways to go, but at least they bought some time and some help can be found for them.

Whew. Time for a nap yet?



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home