Were it not for the Patriot Act, Craig Skewes might never have come to Seattle.
Several years ago, Craig and his wife were on their way to Canada from their home in San Francisco. Unaware of new rules that required a passport, they found themselves turned back at the border, and chose Seattle as a temporary home.
When their initial housing fell through, they lived in their car until they could rent weekly from a Shoreline hotel, the only one that would allow them to keep their cat.
Craig shopped at Shoreline Central Market, and jumped at the opportunity, exactly one year ago, to sell Real Change there. Selling the paper, he says, “put a roof over our heads. We have no support from the state, so it all comes from Real Change and the customers’ generosity.”
But more than the money, working as a Real Change vendor introduced him to the people of Seattle.
“I spend most of my free time with my cat and my wife,” says Craig, who met his disabled wife while working as an at-home caregiver. “This helps me get out and meet people. I really came to like Shoreline; you get a small-town feel but you have the advantages of a metropolis.”
What started out as a temporary visit has become a permanent move, and Craig hopes for a permanent home soon.
“When you lose something that you take for granted, it becomes so important. Next to my wife, having a roof over my head is the most important thing to me.”
Frequently one of the paper’s top 10 sellers, Craig is on the lookout for a Shoreline apartment he can afford.
“The hotel is more a vagabond lifestyle,” he says, shaking his head. “I’d like to lay down roots in Seattle.”