Orange County News

Motel families find housing with help from Anaheim chef

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Good Samaritan and popular chef has been feeding the kids who live on Orange County's "Motel Row" for years. He is now reaching out to help their working-class parents find housing.

The families can afford to pay a monthly rent, but they can't come up with all the fees required to make a deposit on an apartment. Popular chef and Anaheim White House restaurant owner Bruno Serato has come up with a plan to help them. He offered to pay the first and last month security deposits for four struggling families.

"I want you to move out from this motel to give a safe environment for your children," Serato told the families.

Dinner at an elegant restaurant would normally be out of the question for these parents and children whose homes are currently cramped motel rooms. For the last seven years, the chef has been serving hundreds of motel kids every day.

"It's unbelievable what he's done for us. It's like a miracle, a God-sent miracle, what he's done for a lot of the families here," said motel resident Lisa Velazquez.

Ivan Gomez just got a job, and he can't wait to move his family into a real home.

"Ever since we moved in [to the motel], my biggest one keeps telling us, 'When are we going to move back home, Daddy?' So it feels good now," said Gomez.

Serato held an event to raise enough money to help those families move out, and he hopes to help another 20 families in the next few weeks.

"I wish I can move every family out from the motel. That's my goal," said Serato.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
housing market, charity, economy, orange county news, amy powell
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