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, April 04, 2008

Early Night

"Early night!" I told Father Kim, as we walked out of My Favorite Queen Anne Tavern.

Oh, what the heck, we decided to swing by the Millionair Club where 75 of our guys sleep under the watchful eye of Compass Center employees. All very egalitarian.

Back at Nightwatch HQ, Manager Ben was dealing with stragglers looking for shelter, and tied up on the phone. In the corner sat a forlorn woman in a wheelchair.

"Rick" Ben barks, "wanna pick someone up at the bus depot and take them to DESC?" (Ben doesn't actually bark, but it makes a better story if he did. What, did you think all this stuff is true? PSHAW!)

So, Father Kim is game, off we go. Down on Stewart Street, a bunch of cabs parked, people in the shadows doing their thing, and one earnest looking young man with bags, right at the curb.

I pull up. "You from Nightwatch?" he asks.


He hops in, if one can really hop with 100 pounds of luggage. "That's gonna be trouble," I think to myself.

The 10 minute drive from Greyhound to DESC is the sort of monologue I wish I could tape and play back for myself over and over.

Greyhound dude describes his head and back injuries, his trauma with getting medical and support things sorted out, his hopes for the coming days, and other various and sundry minutae of his life and travels. And travails too, because he has had those, and more to come.

In a nutshell, his support isn't coming soon enough, so he's seeking out help, as though moving around irrationally will speed up your survival. Does that make sense? No?

Try hitting yourself in the head with a hammer, or fall off a ladder; then it might make sense.

If you saw the guy, you would swear he's your sister's preppy ex boyfriend. Bet you a nickel he doesn't show up at Nightwatch tomorrow night.
Back at Nightwatch, the fire truck is at the front door. No early night now.

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