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.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Speech at Westlake

It felt weird, talking in public before an empty plaza. Having done it once, I would definitely frame my story differently. There were more homeless people paying attention than there were lunch hour tourists.

But I don't feel bad at all about my conclusion:

"We have a crisis brewing in our community.
It is not an economic crisis.
This crisis is not about gasoline prices.
The crisis is not about a shortage of food.
The crisis is not about health care or who is going to be elected this fall or
how our neighborhoods are going to develop.
These things all matter.
But the central question facing us: can we embrace every human in this community? Can we learn to care about the homeless guy with the same joy we show Paul Allen? Can we begin look upon the mentally ill with the eyes of a mother,
rather than the eyes of a mayor?"

It's a bit like a ball player striking out, when things don't go quite right in a talk. Shrug it off, on to the next opportunity.

The best thing that came out of the day, my conversations with homeless people before and after the event. Some friends of Mama Dread, one older woman in a wheelchair who told me "I know everyone" and a question from "Doc" about toxic mold in a shelter he stayed at in 1999. Oh yeah, and advice for a mom with five kids and no place to go.

So, maybe there was a reason for me to be there.



Blogger iamkatia said...

hah, was this the older woman in a wheelchair who knows everyone?

that sounds exactly like something dawn would say.

4:42 PM  

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