Jesus stops to comfort the women of Jerusalem.
Waiting for Noel House shelter to open.

Jerusalem, Station 8:
Jesus stops to comfort the women of Jerusalem.

Seattle, Station 8:
Waiting for Noel House shelter to open.


Homeless women help and comfort each other as they wait for the shelter doors to open.

Whatever misery you are in, if you can help someone else you feel stronger. It can be addictive. It can be destructive, if you ignore your own problems, use other people to ignore your own problems. It is destructive not to let others help themselves.

It is equally destructive not to let someone help.

One of the artists of StreetLife Gallery once gave a man who had hosted one of our shows one of his wooden carvings. The man started to give it back, saying, "No; sell this and keep the money." The artist blew up at him. "Don't you *ever* do that to *anybody*! Don't you ever refuse a gift! Don't you know that's the most demeaning thing you can do to someone?"

In Tent City, homeless people help each other. The City of Seattle opposes the tents, argues that everyone should go indoors. Even if there were enough indoor shelters, some do not care for being taken care of, having their hours set by staff. "In Tent City," one woman says, "it's as if we hold each others lives in our hands." Sometimes, that feels safer than trusting your life to bureaucrats and social workers.

And it feels good, to help.

Go on to Station 9
Return to Stations of the Cross: the Spiritual Geography of Homeless People in Seattle