Weblog of Seattle minister to the homeless Rick Reynolds, Operation Nightwatch
- Name: Pastor Rick
- Location: Seattle, Washington, United States
Caring for human beings seems like the best use of my time, homeless or not.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Treats for the camp
Monday, April 20, 2009
Life is uncertain.
We try to insulate ourselves from that uncertainty. But in the end, we all end up as compost.
So, what really matters?
Do you think all the junk in the garage is going to matter to anyone after you're gone? They're going to have a rummage sale, and what's left over will go to Goodwill, and what ever survives that will end up as land fill. Are you sure you want to waste your life accumulating all that "stuff?"
My crisis this week is to help a family with four children find affordable housing when they have a family income of about $1,000 a month. Nice people. Just poor. A combination of bad breaks, poor health, lousy job skills have led to this crisis. But they are so dang adorable.
Isn't there someone out there with an answer for me?
Would you be willing to take a chance?
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Ya gotta smile
Friday, April 10, 2009
While you slept, I schlepped
I picked up 125 Dick's cheeseburgers. For those uninitiated, Dick's Drive-Ins is a local chain that started about the same time as McDonalds, only never changed. Real potatoes going through the dicer to become fries, real milk and ice cream for the shakes. For 12 years now, Dick has been providing 125 fresh burgers three times a week. My job tonight: deliver these to the hungry homeless at Nightwatch. Mission accomplished. My stomach growled the whole way. (Thursday nights, 8:30 pm at Broadway Dick's. Volunteers?)
Then I found out our van driver wasn't coming. Which meant I needed to haul the new blankets to our women's shelter, and pick up (gulp) 26 garbage bags of old blankets back to Nightwatch for laundry service.
Some lovely conversations along the way with homeless folks and some of our bar friends. It was a lot of schlepping tonight, but I'm ending with a smile on my face. Thanks for making this possible.
Still looking for drivers to haul homeless women to shelter 8:45 to 11:00 or so. Always an interesting drive in our lovely van.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
More homeless seniors. . .
Some old folks are sleeping in their cars. Read it in the Seattle Times here:
Operation Nightwatch has 24 units for seniors, shared bath and community kitchen. Furnished room, with late night dinner thrown in for $250 a month. Must be 62+. It's amazing how many people can only afford that much rent.
I get the feeling we're about to see a huge shift in demographics in our homeless population.
The one comment though, that I found interesting. One of the interviewees wouldn't give his name: "I don't want my kids to know I'm homeless."
Something haywire there.
The guy pictured here worked for 10 years as a dishwasher before retiring in our building. Not sure where he would have ended up otherwise. . .
Friday, April 03, 2009
Slow Night on the Street
Tonight April, 2008
Tonight I hugged a hooker,
And held the hand of an addict
Who assured me that everything
Was just fine;
Yet he was looking
over my shoulder
the whole time.
Tonight I breathed a prayer of blessing
In a place that smelled like beer
Tonight I shook hands with a homeless friend
And talked baseball
Instead of asking
Why he won’t deal with
The cancer he knows
is killing him.
Tonight I listened to a carefully coiffed drunk
With lustrous skin and perfect nails
Tell me how generous she is
(to a fault)
and I wondered how much she spent
on the gold leather coat,
the face lift, the teeth,
the boobs, hidden, lurking.
Tonight I talked to workers
Who served up food and shelter for 200
But had to send away 23 men
And six women
Into the rainy night
With nothing but a thin wool blanket.
Tonight I will have to dream some impossible dream
on behalf of 29 miserable phantoms.
God help us all.