The “Soupman,” Peter Kelleher, presented keys to his nonprofit’s portable shower to Brockton Mayor Moises Rodrigues, while rededicating himself to helping homeless people in the city.
BROCKTON – The portable shower for the homeless in Brockton is here to stay.
As his nonprofit expands its efforts in other cities around New England, “Soupman” Peter Kelleher ceremoniously presented keys to his nonprofit’s portable shower to Mayor Moises Rodrigues in front of City Hall on Tuesday, reaffirming his group’s mission of helping the homeless in the city. Kelleher started in 2017 by passing out cups of hot soup to the homeless in Brockton, as well as offering donated warm, clean clothes, later expanding his reach by forming the nonprofit Support the Soupman in 2018, then acquiring the portable shower unit earlier this year and rolling it out last month in Pawtucket.
“Brockton helped put us on the map,” said Kelleher, flanked by his dog Koji. “I’m not going anywhere soon.”
Kelleher said the portable shower is put in use every Monday morning in Brockton at The Haven, 74 Pleasant St., before going to Pawtucket on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week, and hitting Taunton on Fridays. While seeking more corporate donations and potential grants from communities, Kelleher said he’s still working to come out with a line of soups that people can buy in store to support the nonprofit’s endeavors to help the homeless. Kelleher started the nonprofit Support the Soupman in memory of his son, Travis, who was homeless and died of a drug overdose, at age 32, in 2016. For more information, go online to www.supportthesoupman.org.
Rodrigues said he was honored to accept the keys to the mobile shower unit on behalf of the city.
“Now I can go take a shower,” the mayor joked. “It’s a beautiful set up. I saw it the other day. I’m truly honored. I’m truly honored that someone by the fact that, whatever reasons got you here, you are here now with this kind of project, to help those who need it most in the community. … The issue of homelessness and drug use and people getting involved with addictions in our community is not going away. Chances are it’s going to get worse. It’s also important for us to band together to work … so the blow is not as significant as it could be.”
Rodrigues also pledged that, during his time as mayor, he would work with Support the Soupman to help the homeless in the city. Kelleher thanked Support the Soupman’s many corporate donors, mentioning a recent $7,000 donation from the Shields MRI company and its employees.