Thinking of how he could give back to the community, Joel Testa, a property developer and a co owner of a 4 star restaurant in Akron, Ohio decided for Christmas to treat 50 of the town’s homeless people to a four star gourmet Christmas dinner.
Instead of receiving gifts for his upcoming forty second birthday, Joel Testa instead told family and friends to help him raise money for the community’s homeless.
Told the developer: “Generally, people are afraid of the homeless,”
“The homeless are not lepers. Homelessness can happen to anyone.”
Dinner would go on to include spinach quiche salad, potato leek soup, braised beef short ribs and a chocolate mousse desert. There was also no shortage of good will on the way out either, as diners were offered offered seconds and takeout bags with leftovers.
Testa estimated the dinner for 50 would run about $1,000 to be absorbed by the restaurant.
‘People need to feel they deserve to walk into a fine restaurant and be served,’ said Keith Stahl, director of residential services at CSS.
It is the first step in breaking the grip of homelessness, he said.
“A lot of the guys lose hope that life can get better for them,” Stahl said. “It’s such a wonderful thing for them to do.”
In addition to the dinner, Testa’s daughter and her scout troop knitted scarves and handed them out.
There are an estimated 800 homeless people in Akron, outnumbering the available shelter beds by nearly two to one, something Testa is also trying to address. He appears to be developing a 60-unit apartment building exclusively reserved for veterans, homeless, and disabled people.
Isn’t it time you thought about your perception of homelessness too?
above image found here