Patrolling the grates

Lucy Chumbley, the editor of Washington Window, has written a wonderful story about the Grate Patrol, a ministry to the homeless carried out by parishioners of St. Paul’s Church on K Street, in the Foggy Bottom section of Washington D. C. Have a look. I’d be happy to have you share links to stories about good ministries in your necks of the woods as well.

An excerpt:

Tina Mallett’s map of the Mall is not like the ones used by tourists. And Mallett is not your typical cartographer, with an eye for unchanging topography.

This gentle woman, who wears a knitted orange headband and an equally warm smile, maintains an ever-evolving guide for the Grate Patrol team.

There are no monuments on her map, no museums or attractions. Just markings that indicate the spots where the destitute are usually to be found.

Mallett gathers her updates on the streets – “mainly from one person saying, ‘There’s someone else over there.'”

Marks are erased if someone isn’t in a particular spot for a month or so, and new ones chart the ebb and flow of those struggling to survive in the parks, alleys and wide avenues of the nation’s capital city.

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