On Thursday the Union Gospel Mission will have a new van to help its ‘Morning Watch’ program.
The program allows businesses to request UGM volunteers to wake up homeless people who sleep overnight in front of downtown business doorways.
The former Morning Watch van was a 1998 Astro van that Search and Rescue supervisor Richard McAdams said was on its last legs.
“As you can see, it’s got some wear and tear on it,” said McAdams, pointing to a dent in its side. “Sometimes the engine doesn’t start. Sometimes the doors don’t open.”
King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles said the van was one of four the county retired and allowed her to donate. She said the application process specifies the vehicles must be used by non-profits to help vulnerable populations.
Volunteer Vincent Williams is the main Morning Watch volunteer. He normally helps from 5-8 a.m.
“(We) make sure that they get woken up before business owners have to come in and get involved and make wake them up or get the cops involved,” explained McAdams.
McAdams said volunteers offer potential clients a ride to the mission or to doctor’s appointments.
“[We] just make sure people made it through the night,” he added.