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Nick Reyes

About the Homeless Speakers Bureau

Real Change’s Homeless Speakers Bureau is a group of homeless and formerly homeless people who speak about their personal experiences with homelessness. Speakers help educate the public, facilitate conversation, and inspire social action. See FAQs, and Speaker Profiles for more information, or request a speaker now.

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Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes was born in New York City to Central American immigrants. His mother passed away early in his childhood and his father was absent, which led him to a life of instability at a very young age. As a child he often stayed with friends and family members for weeks or months at a time. Seeking greater stability, Nick left high school to pursue a career in the Merchant Marines. After completing his service he came to Seattle to take advantage of the booming 1980s economy. He worked with the Port of Seattle, and in various warehouse and factory jobs. The jobs were often contractual, temporary or seasonal and he struggled to make a living. Dealing with the stress was difficult and led to a struggle with addiction and homelessness.

In 2011, Nick began selling Real Change and reignited his desire to become clean and sober. He entered a treatment program for substance abuse and eventually found clean and sober housing. He is a graduate of the Emerging Advocates Program at Washington Low Income Housing Alliance and a regular participant in art classes at Path with Art. When he’s not selling Real Change, Nick enjoys photography and is passionate about advocating for homeless youth. Nick is fluent in Spanish and English and can present in either language.