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Operation Nightwatch

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Homeless Shelters, Human Services, Senior Citizens Housing & Retirement Communities, Seniors

Mission: Operation Nightwatch reduces the impact of poverty and homelessness, in keeping with Jesus’ teaching to love our neighbors.

Target demographics: poor, homeless, and vulnerable people in our community

Geographic areas served: Seattle, WA

Programs: Volunteers provide a hot meal for our homeless friends, late at night. We start serving at 9:00 pm, after other programs have closed and gone home. All the food is donated – sometimes by the cooking group, sometimes by others. Every cooking group figures out its own menu, based on what is on hand or what they bring. Each night is different. We provide overnight shelter for men and women, through a series of partnerships with other organizations. Sometimes we pay a fee to the organization providing the shelter. Sometimes these partner organizations let us “top off” their existing shelter space, to make sure that people can get inside. Support for formerly-homeless seniors is big on our list. We have a small senior apartment building with 24 units for people over age 62. They share bathrooms and kitchens in a dormitory-style setting. Having fun with a group of our tenants is always entertaining! We started as a street outreach ministry over 50 years ago, and we’ve never stopped. We make friends and bring resources to homeless people. There’s nothing like handing a slice of hot pizza at 10:00 pm to someone who had a tough day. When they move into housing, Nightwatch is there to help find a bed, order up a microwave, check in for coffee.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

Operation Nightwatch provides for those in need by providing stable housing and shelter referrals to the homeless in Seattle. They do a great job and my money is well spent in donating to them.


Client Served

Rating: 5

I was homeless due to domestic violence and having no family living to turn to. This was in 1998 and I was in a very psychologically fragile state when two of the workers in Operation Nightwatch saw me in the night time walking alone cautiously downtown looking for somewhere safe to go for the night.
They could see how vulnerable I was and while no shelter had a bed for me they called a women's shelter downtown, explained my situation & got me ok'd to sleep for the night on a chair
They were wonderful in helping me when I had no where to go.
I have no doubt if they didn't step in and help me then I would have become eventually a victim of assault somewhere either on the streets or wherever I ended up to sleep that night.
They are a wonderful group to help when usually no one else is there to reach out.
I am thankful for what they did to help me!


Rating: 5

Operation Nightwatch is a terrific organization that provides meals every night of the year and access to a shelter bed for the night, but most of all hope and encouragement to those in difficult situations. They also provide permanent housing and community to disabled seniors. Thanks for all you do !!



Rating: 4

I've been volunteering for Nightwatch since 1982. They started out in a rat hole downtown, bought a building on the edge of the International District in the late 90s, and keep expanding their ability to respond to the needs of homeless people. Every night they serve up food, starting at 9:00 pm and send people off to various shelters that they fund around downtown Seattle. The shelters are bare bones, but better than sleeping in an alley. Recently they've been helping over 150 men & women. Not currently helping families on a regular basis.