The Taqueria Mexico in Denver, Colo., is taking heat after a customer’s Facebook post accused the restaurant of discriminating against a homeless man in January 2016, according to a Fox 31 report. The post, by Vanessa Varona, alleges that she was told she could not return to a restaurant after she offered to buy food for a homeless man, according to Fox 31.
Varona told reporters that she was eating dinner when the man entered the restaurant looking for food. She told him to order what he wanted and she would pay for it. Varona said that a waitress approached and told her that he could order food but he would have to take it to go. When she called to complain, she was told not to come back, according to Fox 31.
Within days, the post went viral with more than 8,000 shares before it was deleted, according to The Daily Meal.
An employee at the restaurant told reporters that Varona is misrepresenting what happened.
“It wasn’t so much we kicked him out because he was homeless. He was drunk. He had been drinking so we asked him politely to leave,” Adiel Estrada told reporters according to Fox 31.
Estrada continued by saying that the restaurant does not want “homeless people coming in to disrupt customers that are enjoying their meals,” according to The Daily Meal.
The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty has taken a stance against “criminalization of homelessness” incidents, stating, “We fight to make sure homeless persons are not punished for their misfortune.” In 2015, there were nearly 4,000 homeless individuals in Denver, according to the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative.