Bob “The Bike Man” Charland has become a beloved figure in western Massachusetts.
One year ago, Bob “The Bike Man” Charland turned his attention to helping the homeless. Bob began preparing backpacks filled with basic necessities. He gives those backpacks to police officers, who then deliver them to the homeless.
On Friday, Bob delivered a supply of backpacks to Chicopee Police.
Bob, who suffers from a degenerative brain disease, wants to do all he can in whatever time he has remaining.
“It’s enormous for me. Because it means I can live out the last years of my life knowing that I’ve been able to help officers and help the community at the same time,” said Bob Charland.
Chicopee Police Chief Willam Jebb told 22News these backpacks could have saved a life, if his officers had had them sooner.
“Unfortunately, recently we had an individual who froze to death. If he had the supplies he probably wouldn’t have died. We did unfortunately have a large homeless population living in different areas,” said Jebb.
Bob said he’s growing a volunteer organization that he hopes will continue the program he pioneered, of giving bikes and backpacks to those in need.