'It takes us all': Hampden woman continues her mission to help the homeless

Published: Jan. 17, 2019 at 4:54 PM EST
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A retired woman from Hampden is continuing her mission this winter to provide warmth and hope to those in our homeless community.

With the impending storms, Ann Sweeney is helping area shelters stock up.

"Here's some blankets. Most of these are all new for your warming room in case you have anybody for the storm."

We first met Ann Sweeney in May. For the past few years, she's been handing out goods and spreading hope to area shelters in need through her project, Hope for Homeless.

Ann has been retired for over a year now, but these days, this project keeps her pretty busy.

"It's 40-50 hours a week. Every day," said Sweeney.

Through her Facebook page, Hope for Homeless, Ann gets plenty of folks donating items to her. She then drops them off to area shelters, including the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter.

"Ann is really great because if we have a specific need, we let her know, and she reaches out to her followers," said Bangor Area Homeless Shelter Executive Director, Boyd Kronholm. "Usually we get back what we ask for ten times over. She's probably here 3-4 times a week and on weekends. Sometimes she comes in with Dunkin' Donuts cards and passes them out to the guests on cold stormy days, and it really brightens their mood."

Boyd Kronholm of the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter says Sweeney has been a real asset to the shelter, especially since they've opened their warming center.

"We opened up our warming center and we were concerned about how much coffee we would be going through, and she filled a quarter of our basement with coffee, sugar, and creamer from her and her followers," said Kronholm.

Ann says she will continue her mission as long as everyone is able to help out.

"All the shelters do an excellent job, but it's the extra things like the underwear, the thermals, a hoodie, or a pair of gloves," said Sweeney. "If you have a used hoodie, as long as it's clean, workable or gently used, that's a huge donation. Or, just sharing. Sharing our page. Sharing this article. The more people that can help, the better. It takes us all."

You can contact Ann through her Facebook page, Hope For Homeless.

Donations are accepted at the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter. They can be dropped off at 263 Main St. Bangor, ME from 8am-4pm.