We are a grass-roots, volunteer-led group of people dedicated to loving our neighbors who are poor and homeless. Through the years, as the downtown Seattle community has changed, so we also have shifted our focus to meet emerging needs.
Volunteers provide a hot meal for our homeless friends, late at night. We start serving at 9:00 pm, after other programs have closed and gone home. All the food is donated – sometimes by the cooking group, sometimes by others. Every cooking group figures out its own menu, based on what is on hand or what they bring. Each night is different.
We provide overnight shelter for men and women, through a series of partnerships with other organizations. Sometimes we pay a fee to the organization providing the shelter. Sometimes these partner organizations let us “top off” their existing shelter space, to make sure that people can get inside.
Support for formerly-homeless seniors is big on our list. We have a small senior apartment building with 24 units for people over age 62. They share bathrooms and kitchens in a dormitory-style setting. Having fun with a group of our tenants is always entertaining!
We started as a street outreach ministry over 50 years ago, and we’ve never stopped. We make friends and bring resources to homeless people. There’s nothing like handing a slice of hot pizza at 10:00 pm to someone who had a tough day. When they move into housing, Nightwatch is there to help find a bed, order up a microwave, check in for coffee.
There’s more. We help people with getting outfitted for work, replacing ID, getting someone caught up on union dues after a long lay-off. And we will send a Nightwatch client home, if they have a home in another city. And we constantly strive to educate ourselves and others about homelessness.