It's snowing outside. And it's really coming down. I ask Darcie if we should still do our interview, or perhaps reschedule for another day.
"Well, I'm working, aren't I?" she says.
She's right. And it's this level of commitment and sincerity that has earned Darcie her recognition as Vendor of the Week. So I put on my coat, grab the video camera, and head out the office door into the cold.
After all, Darcie has inspired more than a few people and deserves to be recognized. Just two nights before, she spoke to an audience at City Hall during Real Change's campout, an event that brought together everyone from homeless activists to academics to protest the city's sweeps of homeless encampments.
"It's cold out here and the shelters are all full," Darcie says. "There's no place to sleep."
And if you do sleep out, there's a likely chance that you'll be harassed by Seattle's finest. Or have your personal belongings stolen: that's what happened to Darcie. "I was camping and I came home one night and all my stuff was gone," she tells me, "My tent, my sleeping bag, my I.D., everything."
That's why she spoke so passionately at City Hall: to stop the sweeps.
"Just because we're homeless doesn't mean we're not human beings," she says, "[The police] think we're scum, we're animals, that we don't belong here...[but] we bleed the same blood, we breathe the same air." She pauses for a moment. "They just see us as a job."
"How does that make you feel?" I ask.
"It makes me feel really disappointed in our justice system."
Powerful words. So powerful that numerous event-goers flooded our phone with calls the day after her speech expressing their gratitude. "She was very moving," one woman told me, "It makes me feel good about what we're doing."
Did I mention it was the first time she'd ever given a speech?
"I didn't think what I said actually changed people, but it did," Darcie says. "And I didn't think one person can make a difference, but it does."
You can find Darcie selling the paper at Seventh and Seneca, so be sure to give her your support. And to her regular customers, she says, "I'm so grateful and appreciative... if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be this far."