A Brief History of Operation Nightwatch
In 1967 Rev. Bud Palmberg of Mercer Island Covenant Church was looking for a young adult on the streets of downtown Seattle. While wandering Pioneer Square late at night, he saw a world far removed from the suburban community served by his church.
The young man he was seeking told him that Seattle needed a night ministry like one he encountered in San Francisco. Training was called for, word went out among Seattle-area clergy and religious orders, and soon the night time ministry of Operation Nightwatch began.
At first the organization was run by the volunteer street ministers themselves, with a limited budget and minimal structure.
Soon it became apparent that more formal arrangements would need to be made. The first paid director was hired (Rev. Norm Riggins), incorporation and by-laws written, non-profit status sought, and offices rented.
Over time hundreds of ministers, deacons, nuns, and seminary students have been involved with the street ministry. Ministers continue to go out between 9:00 p.m. and midnight or 1:00 a.m.
Nightwatch has grown as a link for homeless people to find shelter. Each night at 9:00 p.m. the dispatch center seeks shelter for 90 125 homeless men, women and children. Homeless families with young children are provided a hotel voucher. Single adults are dispatched to area shelters.
P.O Box 21181 Seattle, WA 98111 206-323-4359

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