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.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Wind blown homeless

I can tell you one thing -- I would not want to be living in Tent City tonight. Gusts of 60 mph and they are in a church parking lot under the trees. Yuk.

Dravus Street -- "Homer" celebrating his birthday. "Guess how old I am," he demanded. This is a losing proposition for me. He looks pretty beat up by life. If I guess high he's gonna be mad, and if I guess low, he may be insulted. So I guessed low, way low, like 8 years too young. He's 37, and missing a front tooth. If he finishes his pitcher he's going to be unconscious. He says he has a place to go for the night. Bartender Milk Maid is not too sure. I come back to him later and try again -- lots of shelter available tonight. "I'm good" he insists but hints darkly at mudslide worries, which are not uncommon along the steep slopes of Queen Anne hill where lots of homeless folks camp out.

Downtown we tried getting two guys out of a doorway and into the church who's doorstep they were camping in. The wind was howling through the canyons downtown. They roused from their slumber enough to turn us down.

Meanwhile, back at Nightwatch headquarters, the power is off and the fire alarm is going. Yippee. Just another normal night. Rick

Friday, December 08, 2006

Jacob Turns 21

Great time at My Favorite Queen Anne Tavern. Son Jacob turned 21, everyone had cake. Kooky goofy fun, then off to home where he was brewing up hot buttered rum. What a great kid.

Just when you thought you've seen everything: Guy keels over backward off a bar stool at Dravus Street bar. Probably the fact that he was drunk kept him from serious injury. Milk Maid Barkeep gave him ice in a bag -- he was bleeding a little at the back of the head.

Stopped at 3rd & Bell. The bouncer's birthday too! Pearl Harbor Day!

Compass Center staff was really happy to see us.

Union Gospel too.

All quiet on the homeless front. A few men turned away with no shelter. HEY SEATTLE. OUR SHELTERS ARE FULL IN DECEMBER!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

It can happen to anyone

So, my buddy moved back to Seattle.

He arrived from the midwest via Greyhound, 48 hours on the bus.

He sent money for a room with a friend. Got here, and the friend was in jail. Went by his dad's place. Dad was MLNF (moved, left no forwarding). Called me for a cup of coffee. Decided to take the return bus.

Finally he decided he'd stay with wifey and me for a few weeks. It works out great for us, the old housemate was dragging his feet getting the last of his stuff out, so we rattled his cage a bit (poor kid came at 11:00 last night after work to leave his key).

Anyway, stuff happens. Never know who was homeless once.

former occupant of public housing:

Friday, December 01, 2006

Dravus Street Bar, Hell, and Homeless

Every night something new.

Tonight a Jehovah Witness went after me for believing the Apostle's Creed. Always very interesting when a drunk gets up a full head of steam defending a faith they don't live.

By the time he left he was totally out of control -- his buddy got him out of the bar before he got 86ed.

Promised to drop off an AA meeting schedule and some anti-JW material, if I can find it. I won't convince him however, pretty sure.

Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

Stopped by the Rainier Room at the Seattle Center -- 70 sleepers there in the cold weather. All is well. Why the heck do they need three workers to watch a room full of sleepers? I want a gig like that.