Saginaw business owners, customers help homeless

Saginaw business owners and customers help the homeless community. (Photo credit: Jesse Gonzales)

These cold temperatures are making people want to stay inside.

A number of business owners in downtown Saginaw are stepping up to help those in need.

Both the Savoy Bar and Grill and the Dawn of a New Day Coffee House in Saginaw serve drinks and food.

But they also have another thing in common: they serve those in need.

"It's been years," Savoy Bar and Grill owner Steve West said. "Years and years and years."

For what feels like forever, John has been coming to the Savoy Bar and Grill almost every day.

"Especially on cold days," he added. "He's here waiting when we open the door."

John sits toward the back of the restaurant and keeps to himself.

"He's usually sitting back here reading the newspaper," another customer said.

He said he doesn't like the attention, but West said people definitely notice John.

"People started paying for his meals and dropping money off and say this is for John," West said.

But it doesn't stop there.

West said not only does he think of John as family, but his customers do too.

"I know around Christmas people were giving him gift certificates for different places and I was like, 'John, are you cheating on us?'" West said.

John is homeless and has lived in Saginaw for nearly two decades.

While he said he doesn't like to overstay his welcome, he said places like the Savoy Bar and Grill and Dawn of a New Day Coffee House have become like home.

"Just relying on us for a hot cup of coffee or a coke," Dawn Goodrow with Dawn of a New Day said. "Coke is actually his favorite drink."

While business owners and customers have helped John for years, Goodrow said it isn't special.

She said it's just the right thing to do.

"For some people, they've had a few more hiccups or bumps along the road and it's all about trying to help each other and raise each other up," she said.

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