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, November 14, 2014

Walking under the Interstate

“Never depend upon institutions or government to solve any problem. All social movements are founded by, guided by, motivated and seen through by the passion of individuals." - Margaret Mead

Herb Dimock writes "Institutions do not serve persons; Only persons serve persons."

Interstate 5 is not an institution. It is concrete, rebar, steel. It has no soul. Yet, it may be the single biggest provider of shelter in King County. There is no human face for Interstate 5, just the cold, loud roar of machines, and tires thumping over expansion joints.

And beneath, from the trash, in passing, a spark. A stuffed toy, abandoned on the edge of a homeless camp - one of many camps in that dismal inhospitable place.

This toy asks us a question: Is Interstate 5 the best we can do for sheltering a human being who was at one time comforted by a stuffed bear?

Apparently so. We allow this to happen, because we have closed up our hearts, our minds, our homes, our churches, our parking lots, our parks, our public buildings. Surely we will reap the whirlwind.


Blogger john said...

Don't say "we," pastor, as if there us a collective culpability. For example, the Seattle City Council are not "we" but elitists doing mainly the bidding of the wealthy. The people spitefully putting cameras around Tent City X are not "we." I hear you're renting your shelter space for the first time in 15 years from some landlord? "We" would never stoop to that.

8:00 PM  

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