Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom met with the homeless on one of the stops of The Salvation Army’s Grate Patrol program Monday evening.
As HM reported earlier, Capitals' center Nick Backstrom joined forces with Mix 107.3’s Chilli Amar, Gary Dexter with Tires Plus and Comcast SportsNet’s Lisa Hillary in The Salvation Army’s Grate Patrol program on Monday in an effort to help D.C.'s growing homeless population. The group delivered chicken noodle soup, bread, hot chocolate and cookies to the homeless in eight locations in Washington, D.C. With the temperature changing the Grate Patrol van also had sweatshirts to give the homeless to help with the cooler weather.
The Grate Patrol van started at The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light facility at 6:30 p.m. and stopped at eight locations in the northwest part of Washington, D.C. Backstrom and his fellow volunteers delivered the food and sweatshirts and talked to the homeless about their everyday struggles of living on the streets.
“This was a different experience for me, but the people were happy we were there,” said Backstrom, who is the spokesman for the Capitals’ canned food drive at their Nov. 20 game. “We weren’t just there to pass out food, we were there to talk to them and try to help any way we could.”
The Grate Patrol program started in 1985 and operates 365 days a year with service to more than 1,000 individuals each month. Originally the program offered meals alone, but today an outreach coordinator helps homeless get back on their feet. The Grate Patrol got its name from the homeless sleeping on grates to stay warm.
This is such a tremendous cause and unfortunately the ranks of the homeless are most likely growing due to the economic recession. Caps fans are encouraged to volunteer with the Grate Patrol program by either preparing or delivering meals any day of the week. Go to http://www.blogger.com/www.SalArmyDC.org, Facebook, or Twitter for more information.