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, January 09, 2009

No Room

Two items this week.

First, I got a friendly call from a local property manager.

Homeless people have been sleeping under a group of eight cottages in the neighborhood. Ben and I went to check things out.

These houses are vacant. Five of the eight were wide open to the world. No fencing, not even a door on the crawl space. Easy access, with mattresses. I alerted the manager to the impossibility of keeping homeless people out, without at least securing the property. The next day, nothing had changed.

Second. Last night we turned away 17 men because all the severe weather shelters were closed. It was 37 degrees. Those 17 guys got a blanket from us, and our best wishes for a good night sleep.

Tent city costs about $1.75 per person per night. A new overnight men's shelter would cost about $10.00 per person per night, assuming you could get some church to underwrite the space and utilities.

Those 17 guys all wanted inside. What should we do?


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