Jim Barrett of Hartford, Connecticut, may have retired from the military, but that doesn’t mean he’s stopped serving.
Barrett is an Iraq war veteran, a police officer of 18 years, and a dear friend to locals living on the streets. He spent years using kindness and care to earn the trust of Hartford’s homeless community — and he’s not letting a pandemic get in his way.
Back in January 2019, Barrett spotted a homeless veteran wearing flip flops in the cold. After inviting the man back to his city hall office to get clothes and other supplies, Barrett vowed to help as many homeless people as he could. Now, filling the walls of that office are hundreds of photos representing every life he’s touched while wearing his uniform.
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Over the past five years, thousands have come to Barrett’s office for support. Whether they’re hungry, looking for warm clothing, or just want a shoulder to lean on, Barrett is always there to meet their needs.
And when the novel coronavirus pandemic made office visits unsafe, Barrett found another way to keep serving the 850 people he calls his “clients.” He converted a bomb squad truck into a mobile supply station stocked with food, clothing, and other essentials donated by the local community!
COVID-19 has made it even more difficult to survive on the streets, but Barrett’s daily deliveries have made life a little easier — and brighter.
“Instead of them coming to me, I go to them and I try to boost their morale….every time I’m out here they light up,” Barrett said.
Now this is how you serve your community! Homelessness has a way of making people feel invisible, but Barrett’s actions show them they are seen — and loved — every day.
Learn more about Barrett’s important work in the video below, and share as a reminder that there are always people who care.
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