WBBM Newsradio/Nancy Harty

Officer Honored For Helping Homeless Veteran, Newsstand

Nancy Harty
March 13, 2018 - 12:57 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation is honoring Tuesday an officer who rallied the community to help a homeless veteran.

Lieutenant John Garrido noticed for months how an old newspaper stand near Foster, Milwaukee and Central in the Jefferson Park neighborhood was falling apart. About a year and a half ago he started talking to the 60-year-old homeless Air Force veteran who works there.

Last October, Garrido reached out on social media to get Anthony Johnson a new roof, door and insulation for the newsstand plus money for rent, a cell phone and clothing.

Garrido said it's incredible how quickly the community came together.

What started off as fixing an old newsstand became much more than that, he said. Thanks to $7,500 in donations, Johnson  has been off the street since November.

Garrido is still looking for an apartment for Johnson, with the goal of paying his rent for a year so he can get back on his feet.

Garrido said customers drive in from suburbs such as Glenview to buy papers from Johnson and give him donations. Johnson is very humble and never asked for help, he said.

The veteran didn't come to the press conference honoring Garrido and skipped a ribbon cutting on the new newsstand.

Hiram Grau, former director of the Illinois State Police and a member of the Chicago police memorial Foundation executive board, called Garrido "a perfect example of someone who's making our city just a little bit better."