BOSTON (WBZNewsRadio) - Patriots players Ja'Whaun Bentley, Deatrich Wirse Jr. and Myles Bryant marked World Homeless Day by visiting Pine Street Inn to give out bags of essentials and special coats that turn into sleeping bags.
Players got a tour of the shelter, which is the largest homeless shelter in New England. Pine Street Inn provides street outreach, emergency services, supportive housing, job training and connections to employment across it's five locations.
"In order to impact a community – the only way to impact a community – is bringing like-minded, caring people together," said Josh Kraft, president of the Patriots Foundation. "There's no more caring person or institution in the city than the Pine Street Inn."
For linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley it was personal, having experienced homelessness himself, he said he knew he was handing out hope.
"My family went through tough times... It was definitely a rough patch, but it was something that we always fought through, we stayed together and took it on and got out to the other side. Being able to hear this and experience this, being able to be of service, is definitely huge for me. Seeing all the people that it takes – people in this community coming together for one common goal, and it's to serve – it's huge."
"I know how the winters get, and it's very unfortunate that some people don't have shelters and homes. For us to come out here and give them these bags is important," said defensive back Myles Bryant, who got to try on one of the sleeping bag coats.
"I think I could have fallen asleep right there. It was pretty comfortable. It's a pretty big coat and I think it's a neat idea – just the fact that it can go from being a coat then turning into a sleeping bag. It's a great idea and I'm glad we were able to come out here and give them away."
The Patriots Foundation partnered with Dellbrook|JKS to gift the Pine Street Inn with a third outreach van to expand it's impact further.
WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimTunnicliffe) reports