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, February 24, 2007

Vets on the Street

Hundreds of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are ending up homeless. How could this happen?

ZZZzzzzZZZZ. Huh? Oh yeah, Happy Fat Tuesday

That about says it. Smallest crowd in a very long time. Four of us clergy types walked around for awhile. More cops than revelers. Bought a hot dog for one guy, and got into an interesting theological discussion with a bi-polar street alcoholic, who told me he was "blessed" because he was still breathing and there are no guarantees. He holds forth on 1st Avenue, between Cherry and Marion.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Preach? Moi?

One interesting conversation – one patron was responding to internal stimuli – and eventually left. His buddy told us “He doesn’t like you guys coming in here and preaching at him.”

Of course the buddy knew it was baloney. We don’t preach. At all.

MMMmmmMMM Donuts!

It was funny tonight watching my friends trying to figure out if they should order food. One guy said he didn’t really want to order in food. Then he wanted to. Then he didn’t, then he did.

I got back to the dispatch center and looked at all these fabulous bags of sweets and pastries. It’s all the same. I want it.

Addiction is a powerful thing. Pray for the weak.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

That Crafty Pastor Dave

We did a little detour around the Dome Tavern tonight.

The Dome has NOT been a regular stop for this Nightwatch minister. Too tough? No, it was always closed too early in the evening.

But the rumor is that the Dome is closed for the next six months. If you know something about it, would you email me?

“We got that woman to go inside,” Pastor Dave gloated. That woman. Weird, but I knew exactly which woman he was referring to.

What? We had people beg her to go inside during the snow and cold every night, and every night she turned us down," I told him.

Her campsite was the sidewalk, right near the Dome Tavern. A huge pile of blankets covered her entirely.

“Yes, I know, but I got her to go inside.”

How did you do it?”

“I bribed her with a bus ticket, so in the morning she could get back downtown from the shelter.”

Dang. That crafty Pastor Dave. "Good one."

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Jesus loves junkies

Tonight's most memorable moment -- the woman dealing with addiction since her hubby's death one year ago -- wanting to quit, ready to quit. Came back later to show me her newly purchased drug.

When an addict is thinking about quiting, or being told they need to quit, it feels in their brain like you just suggested suicide. The Fix is everything to that person. Using logic, appealing to reason will not work. They need help and a course of treatment, meetings, therapy, sponsorship, support.

Dear God, help Randy tonight.