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, August 19, 2016

SMH

In internet slang SMH means "Shaking My Head." It  what we instinctively do when we see or read something that is inconceivable.

Today I was with a lovely group of community-minded people in a suburban community. The average age was probably 75 - and I may be low, because there were a bunch in their upper 80s. They were a very appreciative audience for my talk about homelessness.

I told them about Nightwatch - my typical night. Last night I took fudgecicles to a homeless camp. One of the homeless guys was a white collar worker, and assured me that this being homeless will never happen to him again. He said he will have his own place on the first of the month. "But it sure won't be in this neighborhood," he exclaimed. "Those places over there," he gestures toward the south - just a few blocks away from the camp. "Those places cost $2,000 for a one-bedroom." SMH.

Then I told the room of octogenarians that an average rental unit in Seattle, as of July, 2016, goes for $2,179 a month.

All of a sudden, a room full of old people were "SMH."   In unison. It's just unbelievable.




Monday, August 08, 2016

Balance

At Camp United We Stand, Shoreline, WA

























The art of balancing a life beset by odd angles
of poverty, illness
domestic violence
bad brain chemistry
poor nutrition
lack of sleep
humiliation, sorrow, PTSD, addiction, learning disabilities,
social anxiety
bad luck;
It’s
more than I could contend with. And it is understandable when the whole thing comes tumbling down. But God bless the artists in camp who set up a demonstration, keeping things in balance against all odds; God bless them for setting rock on rock even after they all tip over again.

Grant us all the balance we need in this brief life O Lord.