Set back, September 26, 2021
We thought we were out of the woods this summer, with the vaccine making progress in slowing the disease. Then the variant hit. We encourage all our friends – homeless or not – to get vaccinated.
We’ve had no new cases at Nightwatch as of late. Most of the senior tenants are vaccinated. We still are not allowing visitors though, as a precaution. Group activities are not happening, but meals are continuing. You have to eat in your room, which is really not fun.
Out on the street, the Street Ministers continue to take essentials with them – socks, water, sandwiches. They continue to make friends, fully masked and socially distanced.
Meanwhile, shelter is very scarce. We are busy recruiting new churches to host 10 guests and a Nightwatch worker for overnight shelter. We’d love to line up a few more for the winter at least. Let us know if you can help with this effort.
On the Horizon, May 25, 2021
We need more shelter. This was true 25 years ago, true before the pandemic, and as we start to move toward reopening as a society, it will continue to be true.
Many of our homeless friends have been in hotel rooms. This has given them a chance to sleep without interruptions, given them a chance to connect with family and friends, and figure out the next move. Some have gotten into housing.
But we are hearing rumors that the hotel funding will soon stop. We already have guys checking to see if they can get back into overnight shelter through Nightwatch. Which means we need to find more space.
If you know of a church that would allow us to put 10 homeless guys with a paid Nightwatch staff person overnight (9 pm to 7 am) please let us know ASAP at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ve been able to shuttle people to shelter together in the Nightwatch van, which reduces stress for worried neighbors. Two or three more churches are needed right now and in the months to come.
Or if you have a hotel to buy, we’d love to talk!
Meanwhile we will do everything we can to provide food, shelter, housing, and hope for poor and homeless people in the area. Thank you for your support.
March 25, 2021
Maybe you were wondering, “How does Nightwatch conduct street ministry during a pandemic?”
Our intrepid street ministers, Ben and Michael, follow the public health guidelines, by wearing masks, keeping social distance, and washing hands. This is not always easy in the field. They carry hand sanitizer with them, and distribute masks and sanitizer to homeless people who need it. Once in a while, a homeless friend will get a little too exuberant and give a quick hug. So far, the street ministers have remained healthy. (The exception is Pastor Rick, who caught COVID a year ago, after helping the Nightwatch senior tenants.)
Now the street ministers have their vaccines, but they continue to model good health practices. Keeping people safe is the loving thing to do.
Nightwatch depends on your support to keep on providing care, even in a pandemic.
February 24, 2021
Nightwatch senior residents and staff had the opportunity to get vaccinated, thanks to the goodwill of the Buddhist church next door. This resulted in a significant number of us now being vaccinated, especially our elders.
It is truly amazing, how we’ve been helped out during this terrible time of testing. Nightwatch has not missed serving a meal. We continue to have shelter space, though limited. We are always looking for more opportunities to get people inside at night. And our street outreach ministers are active in bringing food, water, socks and blankets to our friends surviving outside. Friendships are forged, and deeper needs met – sometimes a prayer, a bus ticket home to mama, ID replacement, or some work gloves.
Thank you for your wonderful support.
January 26, 2021
It’s a new year! Thanks to you, Nightwatch has been able to continue during COVID without a break – every night, feeding people, finding shelter, caring for homeless people out on the street. It’s different – we’re used to giving hugs and hanging out with the seniors living in our building. Now we have to keep our distance, so there’s no eating together, which is sad.
One more thing – we usually make new friends by telling Nightwatch stories at churches, schools, and community clubs like Kiwanis. Now that is all happening on line. If you need a speaker for your virtual gatherings and meetings, please contact us at 206-323-4359 or email@example.com! We are thankful for the work we’ve been given, but we need to make new friends and reach out to others who might be able to help homeless people with us.
November 19, 2020
Despite COVID we are still providing food, shelter, housing, and hope.
Nightwatch provides shelter off-site, in a church basement, a mission, and using local hotel rooms. We provide food each night, but there is no sitting down together to eat. Everything is served “to-go.”
Our outreach teams are still taking food, socks, and other supplies to homeless camps and city sidewalks – making sure to keep social distance.
And our seniors are also housed and fed, but they are eating in their rooms and trying not to get too lonely. We aren’t allowing any visitors.
We are keeping people healthy, with added sanitation on the premises, and keeping our workers spread out from each other.
Thank you for your support and interest during these difficult days. We still have volunteer opportunities. For info on volunteering, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
October 29, 2020
Covid-19 has limited our ability to provide shelter for homeless people. Our largest shelter for 50 was reduced to 21, and still there was an outbreak. That shelter has now closed; but thanks to our friends at another agency, we have rooms set aside in a local hotel. We also continue to have a 10-bed shelter in bigger space at Madrona Grace Presbyterian.
We continue to seek options to get people inside at night safely, especially with the arrival of colder weather. We are praying for options.
Meanwhile, monthly testing continues for Nightwatch staff, tenants, homeless friends, and volunteers. Our goal is to show love, and keep people healthy.
September 25, 2020
Results came back from Monday night testing. Turns out we had 11 positive tests among the clients and three staff.
Nightwatch shelters are closed. All the guys from our two shelters have been offered 24-hour isolation and quarantine options, and most took advantage of this.
PLEASE PRAY – for safety for our remaining team members, the clients, and especially in discerning our path forward.
September 23, 2020
Like us, you probably thought this would all be over months ago. But we’re still having to deal with COVID-19 at Nightwatch.
A few homeless people have tested positive, which means they are sent to isolation, run by Public Health. If they refuse, we can’t let them go to shelter where they might infect others. As cooler weather approaches, this is particularly troubling. Please pray for the healing and protection of our homeless neighbors.
Be sure to get a flu shot this year. And remember to pray for Nightwatch as we cope with this pandemic and the associated stress.
Mask – wash hands – keep social distance. Thank you!
August 28, 2020
Nightwatch continues to monitor our homeless friends nightly. We have spaced out the shelter accommodations for improved safety, at the direction of public health officials. We keep the homeless sleepers distant from each other to flatten the curve. So far as we know, none of our homeless friends has tested positive.
We have regular visits to test Nightwatch senior tenants and staff. Only one new case has been discovered, and that was by a senior who traveled to visit family. He got sick the next day, but has recovered.
Our request for masks has been very successful. We currently have an adequate supply for residents, staff, and homeless guests. Thank you to the mask-makers!
July 17, 2020
Our Executive Director is back on the job after 9 weeks of battling the virus! Yay Rick.
Nightwatch continues to seek safe shelter space for homeless guys. If you know about room for 10 men overnight, we want to talk with you! Please email us or call the office at 206-323-4359.
Our nightly meal service continues, following King County Public Health guidelines and limiting contact between volunteers and our homeless friends. If you are interested in helping, check out our How to Help page or email our volunteer coordinator at Haley@seattlenightwatch.org.
June 23, 2020
As we enter Phase 2 of the governor’s plan, we are happy to welcome back our meal cooking groups. Yesterday, we served a hot meal to our homeless friends! They were ecstatic!
Is this a bit of hope in these strange times? We think so.
In the meantime, we still search for additional shelter, we still meet with people outdoors, and we keep our senior residents safe inside.
Update on Pastor Rick: he has now tested negative for COVID-19. He is still recovering and is expected back to work soon.
This is still Nightwatch.
May 26, 2020
As the pandemic continues for us all, Nightwatch is still here, helping our homeless friends and seniors.
To contain the spread of the virus, shelter is scarce, but we continue providing food and shelter every night.
Our senior tenants are safely at home. Enhanced cleaning protocols are in place, and volunteers are providing masks to keep everyone safe.
Our street ministers continue out on the streets; taking more food than ever, survival supplies, and hope, to those living outside.
Our Rev. Rick Reynolds, is in his sixth week home battling COVID-19. Please pray for his recovery.
Thank you for all your prayers and support!
We will get through this together.
Be kind. Be Nightwatch.
April 23, 2020
As the stay-home order continues, we’re adapting, in the ways we help people without homes.
We’re still getting people inside. We’re still ministering on the streets. We’re still providing a roof for our senior residents.
We’re still here. Please don’t forget us. Many thanks to those who have sent food, financial gifts, your time.
It helps to call or email our office before dropping things off. And please be patient with us; we may be thinly staffed during the day.
We will get through this together.
Be kind. Be Nightwatch.
March 26, 2020
We continue to learn about the “new normal.” Hot meal service has been suspended. We are now providing ready-to-eat meals from various sources, including Microsoft and some churches.
We are still getting homeless people inside at night. And our outreach ministry teams are still bringing critical supplies to our homeless friends.
THANK YOU to everyone who has continued to provide financial and logistical support during this crisis. For now, it is best to communicate with our office before dropping off food items. (Here is a current list of what we need.)
We will get through this.
Be kind. Be Nightwatch.
March 17, 2020
Nightwatch will continue getting homeless people inside. But for now, we are suspending the hot meal service done by volunteers. This will limit our contact with each other, in keeping with public health needs.
But there are plenty of ways to help!
We need donations of peanut butter sandwiches in baggies, individual size snacks, wrapped candy, whole fruit like apples and bananas. This will allow for quick lines and reduce the hazards for everyone. Home baked cookies are fine, if in baggies, and shelf stable.
Power bars. Healthy snacks. Protein treats. You get the idea. (No bare-hand contact with ready to eat food of course!). This page has a list of suggested items.
We can meet the nutrition needs of our hungry homeless friends, if we all play a part.
To arrange for drop off, call the Nightwatch office at 206-323-4359 or email email@example.com.
Or you can order items from our Amazon wish list and have them shipped right to us!
March 4, 2020
During this current health crisis, Operation Nightwatch is following best practices as given to us by the King County Public Health Department and the Healthcare for the Homeless Network. These include:
- Encourage all visitors to wash their hands thoroughly before, during and after visiting Nightwatch.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
- Volunteers and staff will sanitize surfaces with bleach solution in the kitchen, front desk and dining areas.
- Encourage those people who are sick to stay home. Clients who are ill will be helped in other ways.
Together, we will overcome this current crisis and continue to provide for the needs of our homeless neighbors.