Aside from her love for cooking, Paulette Johnson, an entrepreneur and the owner of Trucker’s Café, also loves helping people. Her café has been known not only for its “biggest mother truckin’ burger” but mostly because it closes its doors every Monday to serve the homeless.
Mondays are usually a busy day for restaurants with lots of customers coming in and out. But Paulette Johnson shuts down her restaurant every Monday to serve a different clientele — and they will not have to pay.
Truckers Café, located at 1910 Martin Luther King Blvd. in South Dallas, Texas is closed once a week to accommodate the homeless and those in need of a hot meal. Besides that, Johnson also provides them clean clothes, shoes, and toiletries.
“I just feel blessed that somebody is out here to care, people like us,” Barbara Jameson smilingly said despite the hardships that led her to Johnson’s Monday lunch.
Having grown up in a battered woman’s shelter, Johnson understands what it’s like to go without.
“My heart just flooded, there’s no word, I just feel good,” Johnson said. “I been aching all day in the morning, feet everything, dealing with my health, but once I see these guys, all that goes away.”
“I just thank God for waking me up, do what I do today. Because I know people out here struggling every day,” Johnson continued, through tears. “It’s still hard for me, but I’m just worried about everybody that I could help. It’s just me, and if I can help and put smiles on people’s face, that’s all I need.”
Running a restaurant on her own is not an easy task, Johnson said. But she only spends for herself and her family’s essential necessities so she has enough money to give back to people in need.
Every Monday, Trucker’s Café is filled with hope. Everyone is welcomed heartily, given a number, and seated. Once their number is called, they will be served with a home-cooked hot meal. No one gets turned aside.
Johnson invited singer Capt. Jack Watson, who travels with a band but also used to be homeless, to perform for everyone who dines on Mondays.
“Just hug them and inspire them and let them know, somebody up there still cares, still loves,” Watson said. “Never look down on anybody because you never know, the next day that person might be up, and I’m a living example.”
Follow the restaurant on Facebook at www.facebook.com/truckerscafetx/