Homeless Man Asks Restaurant Owner for Money, She Gives Him a Job Instead

A homeless man in Minneapolis walked into a café to ask for money, but was given something much more useful

‘I told him nothing is given to me for free,’ the café’s owner said, offering the man a job in her kitchen instead. 

A homeless and unemployed man who walked into Abi’s Café in Minneapolis to ask for money was given something much more valuable — a job.

“There are a lot of people who walk in, there a lot of drugs and activities and crime in this area,” the café’s owner, Cesia Baires, 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.”

According to U.S. Census data, Minnesota has a 12 percent poverty rate as of 2014, and that figure is significantly higher for minority groups.

The man, identified only as Marcus, explained to the owner that because of a felony record, he had been unable to find a job in the city. “To me, that’s unacceptable,” Baires said.

Baires was short-staffed that day and offered Marcus a regular position as a dishwasher, which he accepted. Baires gave Marcus a meal before he started working, half of which he promptly shared with another person in need.

“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, whose new employee has been in the kitchen at Abi’s Café for two weeks now, told ABC that the arrangement has worked out well for both parties. “He has been a blessing to me,” Baires said.