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.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Blast from the past

Took three college students around last night. We were drowning in pastries, so we shared with Tent City and with St. Martin de Porres shelter. Took coffee to Bread of Life.

Then went to the old neighborhood, parking in front of 91 Wall Street, Nightwatch location from 1994 to 1997.

It was so quiet and weird.

There wasn't a single homeless person around anywhere. The block of the Millionair Club was deserted. First Avenue was quiet except for the required intense conversation between a 27 year old office worker and her next boyfriend as they had a smoke outside the organic restaurant.

I stood in the alley where so many homeless guys have pissed, and told my impressionable companions this story.

Mid afternoon, on a hot day in the summer. I come into the alley to dump the trash. Some guy is sleeping right in the middle of the alley, totally exposed to the sun and God and the garbage trucks that rumbled by constantly.

I lean over him. "Hey, buddy! Are you okay?"

He feebly lifts his head. "Yeah, it's all good."

But I could see the chewing gum from the alley stuck to the back of his head. Not good.


Anonymous upulagi said...

I cant even begin to imagine what it would be like to be homeless. It must be horrible. here in NZ there are some street people whom the govt tries to house... but the ones here prefer sleeping on the streets.If there is a real genuine homeless case then the whole country is up in an uproar and the person/s are housed "overnight". the govt here instigated a policy in the early 1900`s.. round about 1920.. of getting rid of slums and rebuilding to suit families.I would hate to be homeless, Why are there homeless in america when america is so rich? and america spends so much in Iraq on the war?

7:46 PM  
Blogger Pastor Rick said...

I hate thinking about what we could have done with the trillion dollars we spent wasted in Iraq.

In Seattle people are homeless because the rents have outpaced our incomes. Basic social security payments are at $625 or so a month, while the average rent here is over $700 a month, and rising.

Because this is a very prosperous area, people move here for a higher salary; but the housing is out of reach for the average working person. My house has increased in value from $110,000 to $500,000. No way could I afford to buy now. And a janitor making $12/hour can't hardly afford the rent, much less purchase.

Thanks for the feedback. Rick

1:30 PM  

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