Health

New Hampshire “Soupman”: Peter Kelleher inspired to help the homeless after his son’s death from opioids

CBS Evening News” explores how issues on the campaign trail actually affect people around the country with our series “Every State has a Story.”


Manchester, New Hampshire — Peter Kelleher never thought he’d be driving a big red bus down the snowy roads of New England. He also never thought he’d be a lifeline for thousands of homeless people, until his life dramatically changed.  
 
Addicted to opioids and homeless, Kelleher’s son Travis died in 2016. He was 33. 
 
“I couldn’t save him, his mother couldn’t save him … his grandmother, he had that devil,” Kelleher said.

So he started making soup for the homeless, a few bowls a time. Word of his one-man operation spread and dozens of volunteers came out to help spread his love and kindness.

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Norah O’Donnell with Peter Kelleher

CBS News/Adam Verdugo


Now Kelleher’s non-profit, Support the Soupman, has expanded to offer a full lunch. He also buys boots in bulk and stocks a mobile closet full of warm clothes. There are also backpack care packages filled with survival supplies.

“Every day I hope to make a difference in someone’s heart,” Kelleher said.
 
With so much need, Kelleher said, he will never stop.

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