on December 16, 2014 at 4:40 PM, updated December 16, 2014
AKRON, Ohio — On Sunday, 50 homeless people will sit down to dinner at one of Akron’s finest restaurants.
For the second year running, real estate developer Joel Testa is hosting 50 homeless Akronites to a four-star restaurant on the first floor of his Northside Loft Building, Dante Boccuzzi Akron, where they will be treated to a four-course dinner prepared by Michelin Star Chef Dante Bocuzzi.
Another 1,000 will receive hand-painted lunch bags with meals. Winter clothing will be handed out.
Testa’s Formerly Homeless Foundation started in 2012. The developer has also committed to construct two supportive housing buildings for chronically homeless people and homeless veterans.
When the first building, the Commons at Madeline Park, opened in August, Testa talked about his connection to homelessness through his son’s biological father, who became homeless after landing in jail early in life.
“He fell in with the wrong group of kids and he ended up committing a felony, because of that felony this young man can’t get a job today; he struggles,” Testa said. I feel like it’s because he didn’t have the resources. He gave me the one thing that I couldn’t give myself, which is a son. It was my goal to be able to give him or people like him whatever I could.”