Souper Heroes is a street-level outreach program serving freshly prepared soup to Chicago’s unhoused community. Three days a week, we provide 5 gallons of hot, homemade soup to approximately 80 hungry Chicagoans experiencing homelessness. We serve Monday lunch at Revive Center for Housing and Healing and Tuesday and Thursday late nights at the CTA Forest Park Blue Line station. On many occasions, this is the only warm meal our customers will eat all week. It is one of their only opportunities to be acknowledged and treated with dignity, rather than ignored and passed by without a second glance. We also work to help meet our customers’ other needs by providing blankets, hats, socks, and gloves thanks to donations from our supporters in the community.
Kenneth Purnell IV founded Souper Heroes in November 2020. Without a vehicle for transportation, he first began riding the CTA trains with his 5-gallon insulated cooler filled to the brim with soup. Through the power of social media, Kenny inspired others to serve as volunteers or donate money and supplies. Although he started the organization alone, he now leads small group of dedicated volunteers to help make his dream a reality. To date, Souper Heroes has served over 10,000 bowls of soup and has no plans to stop. We seek to improve and refine our current processes and expand to other locations, working alongside the CTA and The Night Ministry to further serve those in need. The long-term goal of Souper Heroes is to open a brick-and-mortar facility to provide additional services to the unhoused community such as showers and haircuts.
Funded by Chicago, IL (May 2022)