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, March 14, 2008

Cold night outside city hall

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It was wet and cold -- duh, it's March in Seattle.

Real Change Organizing Project hosted a camp-in on the 4th Ave. side of city hall. Ben and I went, representing Operation Nightwatch.

My tent had a sign, which was often photographed:

"Mr. Mayor, this tent is worth more than $25 and belongs to Rev. Rick Reynolds. Hands Off!"

$25 is the threshold the city decided on for throwing homeless stuff away when they feel like it.

There were the usual speeches, including a barn-stormer by Rev. Rich Lang. Can't we get a decent speaker system for these events? Yuk.

Dinner was served by Rev. Pat and Rev. Kristi, with Rev. Joshua L. providing hot chocolate. Kudos to Operation Sack Lunch for the Lasagne chefery.

Ben, Pete & I dropped in on the Nightwatch shelter staffed by Compass Center workers at the Millionair Club. (got that?) Plus a little Belltown walk-about.

We hit the sack about 11:00 pm. Egad, what noise. People yakking, homeless people wandered through, but the main thing was the traffic and noise of trucks, buses, police cars. It really didn't settle down til about 3 a.m. I got up about 2:30 to use the sanikan, there were still groups of chatters. At least it wasn't pouring. Every so often it rained, but we stayed dry in our tent.

But it was chilly, and I had a sleeping pad, bag, all my clothes, jacket, and hat. At 6:30 am Ben and I struck camp, drove to CJs Restaurant at 1st & Cedar and had a hearty breakfast.

It's gonna take a weekend to dry out the tent though. All wrapped up in the car as I write this.

If you took pics, would you email me?


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