One of the places I went to was Bellingham's homeless shelter, the Lighthouse Mission. When I was walking toward their drop-in center, I was struck by the juxtaposition of a handful of the urban poor standing in front of a homeless shelter, with a big billboard across the street advertising a luxury hotel and restaurant, also named "Lighthouse" something-or-other. I didn't read it closely enough to remember the name, but after searching online, I believe it was the Lighthouse Bar & Grill at the Bellwether Hotel, which is, in fact, just down the road a ways from the shelter, sort of.
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I am not one for leading the rich people's guilt trip, but it did seem almost in bad taste to put that particular billboard in that particular place.
Another place I needed to go was a social services office, DSHS, as it's called around here. My co-worker had told me it was right near Christ the King Church, which is a church in a strip mall.
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So I pulled into the strip mall off Bakerview and to my right I could see the big entrance doors of Christ the King Church. I figured it wouldn't be in that building and I took a left and drove by the store fronts, doing sort of a U-shaped trek, without seeing DSHS. But this big parking lot let onto other parking lots. I crossed some kind of road and drove into a lot featuring a Dairy Queen restaurant.
"DQ, DSHS, what's the difference?" I said to myself. (Of course, I was just joking. You can get a milkshake at DQ but not at DSHS.) I kept rolling along, seeing the Department of Licensing -- yay, a government building, surely I must be close -- but then an empty store, back on the little road and then into the parking lot of a bowling alley. But I said, "She said it was near Christ the King, so I'd better go back," and driving toward those doors I saw to one side the DSHS. When I first came into the parking lot and saw CTK (as it is also known) to my right, I should have taken the right and driven past the large, impressive front of CTK to the smaller, more seedy front of DSHS.
|The impressive front of CTK|
After leaving my posters there, I pulled out onto the Guide Meridian and went north a very short ways then turned left onto a road I thought would take me to Whatcom Community College, but it turned out to be that little road I had been on before and, yikes, there were the bowling alley and the DQ. "Oh, no," I said, "I'm in the parking lot from hell." But eventually I found my way out again and completed all my stops.