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From Aaron Scott, Diocesan Missioner of Anti-Poverty Organizing and Chaplain and Organizer with Chaplains on the Harbor:

Dear family in Christ and in the struggle for survival and dignity for all people,

Chaplains on the Harbor still needs to raise $30,000 to close out the year! This is week four of Chaplains on the Harbor sharing testimonies from our incredible staff, as part of our year end appeal. As individuals and as a team, we have come a long way in six years – from homelessness, from active addiction, from incarceration, from family separation, from a budget of $500 and backpack full of sandwiches – to a thriving staff of 11 leaders who fight daily for our own healing, our families, and our whole community, testifying before the US Senate and settling two federal lawsuits in the defense of homeless people’s human rights. If our true stories move you, please contribute to our mission. Your financial gifts fund everything from tents and tarps, to Narcan training, to tractor repairs for Harbor Roots Farm, to printing our jail and prison newsletter, to feeding and sheltering people, to recruiting and retaining our staff who are getting off the streets or out of jail, to our organizing with the Poor People’s Campaign.

This week’s featured staff interviews: The Rev. Bonnie Campbell and Tracy Clayton!

The Rev. Bonnie Campbell:

I am Bonnie, I’m ancient and I live in Central Park, WA.

How did you first connect with Chaplains on the Harbor?
My congregation (St. Mark, Montesano) sponsored Sarah Monroe for seminary. When she returned to the Harbor hoping to start a ministry with homeless folks and other marginalized working class people, I asked if I could tag along.

Why did you stick with Chaplains on the Harbor?
I stick with it because I really enjoy getting to know the people we encounter.

What work do you do at Chaplains on the Harbor?
Currently I provide case management for some of my coworkers, pastoral care for staff and some of the people we serve, jail visits, and answer some emergencies.

What have you done that you’re most proud of since you’ve been with Chaplains on the Harbor?
Facilitating driver’s licenses for a couple of our employees and that people on the streets know I have their backs and I know they have mine.

What one thing do you want to do MOST while you’re still with Chaplains on the Harbor?
I would love to do more pastoral care and jail visits.

Tracy Clayton:

My name is Tracy Clayton, I am 50 and I live… well that’s hard to answer. I kinda don’t feel like I really live anywhere. I guess you could say Ocean Shores.

How did you first get connected with Chaplains on the Harbor?
I met Sarah while I was cleaning out an apartment building that was getting remodeled, and she was there to check on the last few people who hadn’t moved yet. About a week later my house was condemned and I had 24 hours to get out. Luckily the church-hosted homeless camp was right next door.

Why did you stick around at Chaplains on the Harbor?
A few months later, when winter came, Sarah asked if I would help at the Aberdeen shelter. I had no idea that it would change my life. I love what I do. I have a kind of kinship with the struggling population, we kinda get each other.

What work do you do at Chaplains on the Harbor?
I work in the Westport shelter and Aberdeen Sunday dinner program, and I’m the Wednesday sandwich person. When the temps are 35 or under or bad storms hit, I work the cold weather shelter. I love it.

What have you done that you’re most proud of since you’ve been with Chaplains on the Harbor?
I feel one of my greatest achievements with Chaplains was to have been part of closing the river camp. We helped people get through their worlds being literally destroyed right before their eyes, by people who didn’t care. The people living in the camp did it without any catastrophic events. They were accused of so many horrible things, I did not want the camp to be traumatized any further, and I like to think that I had a part in helping smooth things over a little. I am frigging damn proud of the camp for not giving the city the satisfaction it so wanted.

What one thing do you want to do MOST while you’re still with Chaplains on the Harbor?
I really like to be there with my struggling friends so they don’t have to feel alone in this world. I want them to know that bad things happen to good people. I don’t want to sit at a desk. I am hands on. Hopefully showing maybe just a little that they are not alone in the suffering.

Chaplains on the Harbor: Year End Appeal, Week 4

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