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, October 22, 2008

Dithering about

There's a world of homeless stuff, of which I am only dimly aware.

This morning I was invited by Bill Block to speak with the Governing Board of the Committee to End Homelessness in King County.

"Economic Crisis and Trends in Housing & Homelessness" was the topic.

Sue Sherbrooke brought a page full of statistics. It was all very informative - demand for services are on the rise.

I felt like I'd fallen off the turnip truck.

Luminaries? Ron Sims, Dan Brettler (Car Toys), former governor Mike Lowry, former mayor Norm Rice. Gates Foundation this, United Way that.

After Sue & I said a few words, Jon Fine from United Way talked about a range of responses that were in place. All very needful. All very removed from the world I live in.

I told the group about the problem we face. Tonight, very likely, we will have to turn 20 guys away. I want to be able to tell those 20 guys where they can go to be safe for the night. I know they can't go to the parks. I know they can't obstruct an exit from a building. Where can they go?

Suddenly tent cities don't seem like such a bad survival alternative, do they? I'm pretty sure the people in power had no idea what I was talking about. All discussion ceased.

With that, I got back on the turnip truck, and bounced on down the road.

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