There's always a story, always people & points of view I'm always found talking to them to understand theirs whether in ASL, Afrikaans or small talk on the commute. I've gone on several mission trips, the latest being South Since then, commercial radio, filming Seattle during the lockdown, flying drones on the side.
By MyMichelleLive field reporter Sam Maupin
2021 02 03
I volunteered to jump in and help with Michelle's homelessness story, thinking this was going to be easy. For the past four years I've worked in Seattle, commuting back and forth on the ferry between Bainbridge island and Seattle. Starting the day by walking onto the ferry on the island, sprinting through off the boat in Seattle to get work on time, and doing the whole thing in reverse on the way home. During my time in the city I've made a few friends, from the other commuters on the ferry to the paper venders on the corners selling Real Change.
As the city went into lockdown, the look and feel of Seattle changed, boards appearing over windows downtown and people becoming more guarded. For the most part the transient population stayed the same, even seemed to grow. More people are sleeping in doorways and tent cities are becoming bigger underneath freeways and in parks, despite winter weather and more virus concerns.
When I got off the ferry in the morning, the rain and wind were constant. I had an idea of where to find the first people I wanted to interview for the story, so I moved quickly along First avenue and up Jackson Street.
After walking roughly three miles in the wind and rain, through the International District, and to up 12th avenue. The bleak reality for so many people living in the city without a roof, dry clothes, or even a bathroom hit home like a rock.
As I was going along 1st Avenue, I saw an older man with a long white beard talking to another man. The man with the white beard had a Real Change badge and a paper, so I bought his last paper and asked if he would mind being interviewed for the podcast.
He introduced himself as “Father Time”, later telling me his actual name was Mike and he was the ripe old age of 70. Mike told me he had been standing same street corner for the past 19 years, talking to people and watching the city. By the look of his long white beard and memories of the city when the Smith Tower was the tallest building in the Seattle, I have no reason to doubt him. Though most people associate Seattle with “The Seattle Freeze” his warmth and friendliness caught me off guard. When I asked him what being in city was like, me smiled and told me it was enjoyable, and that's why he had stayed 19 years.
I was excepting to find sorrow when I went out for this story, instead I found humor and joy. Like shining a light in dark places, even among Seattle homeless, the hardships are real but so is the hope. This also served as a reminder, the people living in tents on the streets and side walks are still people, with names, lives and stories. God is still working, even in the corners of Seattle.