• Operation Arch Angels helping homeless stay warm in Brockton

    By: Jason Law

    Updated:

    BROCKTON, Mass. - There is an effort underway in Brockton to help the dozens of people who are sleeping outside in the frigid temperatures. 

    A group of volunteers are collecting blankets and jackets and delivering them to homeless men and women. The initiative is called “Operation: Arch Angels” and they are on a mission to spread a little warmth by reaching out to people who are just trying to survive the night.

    “I never knew there were so many out here," said volunteer John Hayes on the homeless population in the city. 

    The volunteers handed out coats in Brockton’s Perkins Park, and they say it’s unbelievable how many people are sleeping outside in frigid temperatures. 

    “There's a lot. More than dozens,” said Harry Green Jr., another volunteer.

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    For the fourth year, the Arch Angels are collecting blankets and coats, which they will then hand out at seven local homeless camps.

    “A lot of them don't like to go into the shelter for some reason, they don't like to be in at certain times," Green said.

    For those trying to get off the streets, they're turning to Brockton's only homeless shelter. However, that shelter's CEO told Boston 25 they're seeing record numbers – and that they're well over capacity.

    “We're seeing epic numbers of people coming into our shelter,” said John Yazwinski, the head of Father Bill’s & Mainspring Homeless Shelter in Brockton.  

    Yazwinski’s shelter is built for 126 people; right now, they have 160. He said he appreciates what the Arch Angels are doing.

    “They're great, because they're a great ambassador to our mission,” Yazwinski said. “They're going out and gaining trust with people, saying to them, ‘we're here for you, and giving you what you need to survive tonight.’”

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    Green, who founded the Arch Angels, is just happy to help.

    “Mainly, ‘Thank you,’” answered Green of what people say when they see the Archangels helping.

    “They love seeing us. I know one of my members last year got a big hug from a homeless woman.”

    The Arch Angels say the number one item they need are socks. This weekend they're asking for donations; they're looking for jackets, blankets – anything you can donate. 

    You can drop of those items at Brockton City Hall this Saturday, starting at 11 a.m. 

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