Feeding the Hungry
Jorge Velazquez was always looking for one more hungry soul to feed.
This was in the mid- 1990's. Mr. Velazquez, a deeply religious man from Puerto Rico, had founded a program to feed the homeless at his Seventh-day Adventist church, and commuting home to Spanish Harlem from a shipping job in a shoulder-pad factory, he would keep an eye out for the down and out, recalled his longtime friend Anthony Salcedo.
Mr. Velazquez and his wife, Consuelo, would cook big pots of rice and beans and stew, and on Saturdays, they would pile their four kids into the car, make the rounds of some of Manhattan's saddest spots and ladle out hot dinners. "I'd ask him where he found these people and he'd say, 'Coming home from work I saw someone walking around and I got out of my car and followed them to where they were,' " Mr. Salcedo said. "He was a very determined man."
Determined to make things better for his family, Mr. Velazquez, 47, landed a job as a security guard for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in the trade center in 1999, and he quickly worked his way up to security specialist. He had just bought a house in Passaic, N.J., and was moonlighting as a security guard to help pay for it. Now his family members are starting a program to feed the homeless at their local church.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 28, 2001.