The owner of a Hawaii eatery wanted to help the homeless. So he started cooking

The owner of a Hawaii eatery wanted to help the homeless. So he started cooking

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's a constant debate in the community: Does feeding the homeless make it easier for them to remain on the streets?

Now, a Mililani family is offering a solution to that dilemma.

They're in the business of feeding people -- and they've found a way to give generously while also encouraging the homeless to stay in shelters.

Peij Naderi is the brainchild behind the project.

The Oakland transplant owns Josas Tacos, and has always had a passion for the grill.

He said when he and his family moved to Oahu two years ago one of the first things they noticed was all of the people living on streets and beaches.

"Back home I'm involved with a motorcycle charter and what we do is give back to our community," Naderi said.

He wanted to set that same example here.

So six months ago, he and his family decided to set aside one day a month to cook dinner for people in need of a meal.

On Friday night, they were cooking for 120 people.

Naderi said he won't hand out food at homeless encampments because he's concerned that it enables them to stay on the streets.

Instead, his family will serve people staying at a local shelter.

"You get to see their facial expressions, so it's kind of a cool feeling," he said. "That feeling is way more fulfilling than to have a pocket full of money."

Naderi said volunteering has become something his family looks forward to. And his children, he said, are more appreciative for what they have.

He's urging other businesses to pitch in, too.

"If I have time to give once a month, these other establishments have so much more to give and it's not a judgmental thing you just scratch your head and wonder, What do you do?  Where do you give back?" he said.

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