BANGOR – A Millinocket native, also known as the Soupman, is back in Bangor.
“Bangor is where my heart is,” the Soupman said.
Peter Kelleher got his nickname after serving 32 quarts of hamburger soup to the homeless.
His inspiration is the loss of his son, Travis, who died in 2016 in Bangor as the result of drug addiction.
“Travis is my passion. Travis is my drive. I work for Travis,” Kelleher said.
What started off as making hot soup on a cold winter day in Brockton, Massachusetts has now grown into a regional effort.
“This guy has a vision that needs to be achieved,” said Bob Montgomery-Rice, president and CEO of Bangor Savings Bank.
The Soupman said he never thought he’d be driving a bus. Now he’s driving two.
He travels around New England with a bus filled with jackets, gloves, hats and toiletries. He also brings a portable shower.
“We all take so much for granted. Whether it’s the shower we take in the morning, the meal we eat at lunch and we can have a second meal and we have a pillow to put our head on,” Kelleher said.
“It’s not acceptable for me,” he said.
One of Kelleher’s goals is to have a shower in every major city in New England.
Overall, the Soupman just wants to help people.
In doing so, he said he’s seen so much support throughout the communities he visits.
“What this gentleman is doing in our community is really trying to touch and help the people that really need help,” said Montgomery-Rice.
“Poverty, hunger, homelessness, our veterans and people with addiction are all part of our community. This man is trying to touch those people and help them,” he said.