Fri., December 20, 2013 10:30am (EST)

A Home-Cooked Dinner That's More Than A Meal
By NPR Staff
Updated: 4 months ago

Willie Davis with his friend Yelitza Castro in Pineville, N.C.
Willie Davis with his friend Yelitza Castro in Pineville, N.C.
Yelitza Castro, an undocumented immigrant who works as a housekeeper in Charlotte, N.C., cooks dinners for homeless men and women every other Saturday night. It's a tradition that started after she and her children spotted a man standing in the rain on a cold day with a sign asking for help.

Yelitza gave the man $5, she recalls, but her children wanted to take him out to dinner. She turned around to go back, but he was already gone.

"And we were thinking we have to do something," she says.

Since Yelitza started her dinners, Willie Davis has partaken in many of the meals. "You don't make us feel homeless," he tells Yelitza on a visit to StoryCorps in Pineville, N.C. "You know us by names and faces. And we know you all care."

Before he met Yelitza, Willie says, "I pretty much almost gave up. But that home-cooked meal, it just brought my self-esteem back up. And now I've got my own place."

Audio produced for Morning Edition by Anita Rao.


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