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.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

What are the chances?

Last week I got a call from one of our Nightwatch tenants living in the senior apartments. He's been in the hospital and now a nursing home in the north end.

"There's someone here that wants to say hi," he tells me.

Then a strange voice. "Bet you can't guess who this is!"

You're right.

"It's your old friend, Loser."

My mouth fell open. Loser (not his real name, duh, but the one he went by when I knew him 12 years ago).

Loser slept in his van outside Nightwatch when we were in another neighborhood. He helped out around the place, and helped himself a tad too. Think 'biker dude.' He has a toad sticker about 10 inches on the front seat of his van. No one messes with him. He gets his blankets from homeless people in the morning for a buck. Somehow he survives.

Next thing I knew, Loser was the manager of a downtown apartment building. He actually helped me get Herchel off the street after we got the social security stuff taken care of.

Every few months we'd check in with each other. OK, maybe once, twice a year. You know how it goes. I thought he left town. Last time I checked, his replacement at the apartment building didn't know what happened to him.

Anyway, remember the senior tenant - John - who called me? They're assigned to the same nursing home room in the north end. John and Loser, side by side. The mind reels. What are the chances? Both are hanging on to life, for now.


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