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Carpinteria IHOP manager speaks about viral moment with homeless man

Shared conversation, meal

Carpinteria IHOP employee speaks about viral moment with homeless man

CARPINTERIA, Calif. - The general manager of the IHOP in Carpinteria is telling his story after a woman captured him doing a good deed for a man in need. 

General manager Kelly Urquhart is well liked by coworkers and customers. 

"We love serving our guests and clearly when somebody is in need, he loves to serve them as well," said Michael Gordon, IHOP director of operations.

Roxanne Barbieri is a customer who knows Urquhart has a kind heart.

"I love that he has empathy for other people, and he takes care of him," said Barbieri.

Here's one reason why: On Monday, a customer told Urquhart about a homeless man sitting on the grass outside the restaurant.

Urquhart went to check on him. 

"He looks up at me and goes, 'Hey... I'm leaving,'" Urquhart recalls. "No I just want to make sure you are OK."

"He looked at me, he had a tear in his eye, He said, 'Yeah, I'm just tired and hungry and lonely.'"

Urquhart said a little voice inside told him he needed to get to know the guy better. And so he sat down. The moment was captured on camera by Cindy Jimenez, who shared the story with our newsroom.

"I just wanted him to know that I'm a man just like him," Urquhart said. "I'm no better, no worse."

The two men talked for awhile, then Urquhart brought him some food and a cup of coffee.

The encounter left Urquhart with a good feeling that hasn't left him.

And Urquhart has a message for everyone.

"The next time you walk past a homeless person, don't ever forget that could easily be you," he said. "I offered him some peace and love and that's all I could give him that day."

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