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.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Another rescue story

The only difference between me and a homeless person is someone like Donna who graciously put me up this weekend. Yeah!

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Friday, July 13, 2007


The paperclip sat on the corner of my desk while I spoke with a mentally ill woman.
"Would you like that?" I offered, since I had just handed her two pieces of paper.
Her eyes lit up, a glimmer of a smile crossed her face. "I especially like this kind." The paperclip was tucked into her bag.
Within minutes she was shouting paranoid and delusional information at me, and marched out the door. She failed to make her case for getting help from Nightwatch any more. Some folks, unfortunately, need help that we can't give them. For the safety of our staff, volunteers, and other homeless friends, we have to send some people away. That was Wednesday.
Ironically, as I was leaving the office at 12:15 a.m. Friday morning, in the middle of the street I found a paperclip. Too weird. "God, help her."

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Lead us not into temptation

M's birthday tonight. She's up on the bar shimmying in celebration. It was beautiful and awful at the same time. She's a lovely looking woman, but egad. Full of alcohol most the time I see her, and hanging out with a rough crowd.

Met L. "I never found God" he told me bitterly. Knows he's gotta quit the juice. Not enough love in his life. Ever.

Tonight Milk Maid told W. out in the parking lot, "Someone inside wants to see you."

He says, "Who, Jesus?"

"No, just a friend."

Before I left I told Milk Maid, she was Jesus in the joint when I'm gone. Got her thinking maybe. She's got to get out of there. Somehow.

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Chewing the fat

So I'm parked on a barstool the night after Independence Day. People are pretty mellow at MFQAT.

Then Bright Eyes shows up, yipping and cussin' about it being the best night of her life, and buys a round for the house and slapping all the boys on their backsides and high-fiving the bartender.

She hits up C#2 for some chaw. What the? Too big of a pinch, but she keeps tucking it in. Ugh, like you didn't need something else to ignore about her, now she's got a wad in her lip. Lovely.

Seeing me she suddenly gets self conscious and quiet. "Can't believe I'm sitting next to a f-ing priest."

At the end of the night I wondered. Did I really do anyone any good tonight? I guess it beats sitting at home doing laundry.

Rick (sounds like I need a vacation)

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Cross Connections

I met Bob sleeping in his VW Bug about 20 years ago (he keeps track, I don't).
Bob has come & gone & come & gone, but appears to have put a good run together this time.
In fact, he got to travel with North Creek Presbyterian to do Katrina relief a few months ago. Formerly homeless guy, doing front porch repairs and drywall finishing. How cool is that? Rick

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