(WRIC/ABC) — When a homeless and unemployed man walking into a Minneapolis, Minnesota cafe asking for money, the owner of the restaurant offered him something else: a regular job.
“There are a lot of people who walk in, there a lot of drugs and activities and crime in this area,” Cesia Abigail Baires, the owner of the Salvadorean eatery Abi’s Cafe, told ABC News. “If they ask me for money, I offer food. I told him nothing is given to me for free, just to see what his reaction was going to be. Some people might take that as an offense.”
But the man, who prefers to be known only by his first name, Marcus, explained his problem further.
“He told me about his situation. He said he got felonies, and nobody wants to hire him. Especially around this area if you look homeless they won’t even let you in,” said Baires. “To me, that’s unacceptable.”
Because she was short on help that day, Baires offered Marcus a job as a dishwasher, which he graciously accepted. He’s been working for a little over two weeks at the cafe. She said the arrangement has been going well.
Baire said Marcus has gotten a lot of attention for his big heart.
“When he came in that very first day I asked him if he wanted to eat before he started to do anything and I gave him some food,” she said. “He only ate half of it, then one of his lady friends walked by and he wrapped half of his food and ran to the door and gave the food to her. I said, ‘Marcus do you know the lady over there?’ and he said ‘No, but I know that she is hungry so I gave her my food.'”
Baires wrote a post on Facebook about her experience hiring Marcus that now has more than 156,000 likes.
“He has been a blessing for me,” Baires said, “I don’t see it as me being a blessing to him. I see it as me being blessed, so I can bless him, so he can bless me.”