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, November 24, 2010

Baby, it's COLD outside

OK, I'm exhausted. I can't imagine what my homeless friends are going through, trying avoid hypothermia. Last night I found myself wearing three knit caps. The third hat was hideously ugly, lime green, nursing home craft style. But functional!

Sleeping bags delivered, hats distributed. Turkey dinner for 165 cold, wet homeless people. Now what?

Oh yeah. Our fund raiser was cancelled. So we've got to do something snappy, like blog and Facebook appeals. Classy.

Checks: Nightwatch, PO Box 21181, Seattle, WA 98111
Secure online donations, click here.

Your help is absolutely essential in getting people safely off the street, all year long.

Friday, November 19, 2010

What do I believe? Hmmmm.

The scene: crowded bar, after a UW Husky win.

“What do you believe?” My new friend on the stool next to me was looking at me, smiling, pretty tipsy, slightly apologetic. And waiting.

The question hung there for a moment. I thought about the Apostle’s Creed, an ancient statement of faith. Not a very good answer, under the circumstances.

I thought about all the variables. Substitutionary atonement, amillenialism. Health care for all.

I decided to keep it simple: “I’m a Christian. A Methodist.”

“Hey, me too,” he slurred, satisfied.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Five-year-old's solution to homelessness

Why should I be so nervous facing 23 five-year-olds?
Well, I was.
They had worked very hard as a class, collecting socks for homeless people. My job was to tell them something about Operation Nightwatch and the problems of being homeless.
I looked at the mountain of socks they had collected: five hundred thirty-seven pairs. Pretty amazing!
I described what it is like to sleep in a shelter. "You mean, they don't have their own bedrooms?" Nope.
One kid raised his hand. "If they don't have a place to sleep, why don't they just call their grandma?"
Why didn't we think of that? It's a really good idea.
And actually, for the past four or five months, Nightwatch has judiciously been sending people home to grandma. Or wifey. Or brother. Whereever they might need to go, to get off the street. Fifteen people and counting.
Thanks for your support.