READERS have called a restaurant owner a ‘good Samaritan’ after backing his new venture to help the homeless by offering free food.

Mutaher Shah, owner of Pepe’s Piri Piri, which opened in Lowesmoor on Saturday, has been praised for his plans to make Worcester a more welcoming city for homeless people.

Mel Kirk, chief executive of Worcester homeless shelter Maggs Day Centre, said: “Mr Shah is going to donate food and work in partnership with us. He really does care – you can see it in his eyes.”

Commenting on the Worcester News website, TheHumanBeing said: “Great to hear. Well done, sir. Why not offer the food over two hours old to those less fortunate - instead of disposing of it too? Hopefully some of the homeless can apply for positions also.”

CandiceM said: “Wonderful idea. Hope it works out for all concerned. The owner is indeed a modern-day good Samaritan.”

Laiba Shah said: “Such a lovely idea, really hope this makes a difference for the community in Worcester.”

But Mr Shah is not the hero in everyone’s eyes. Some have suggested that his scheme will encourage more homeless people to Worcester.

Mudshark said: “Will he give free food to the people working 50 hours plus a week who are still struggling to pay all bills, let alone treat the family to a take away? There are families out there with nothing but work very hard to be a decent, respectable citizen. I do feel sorry for SOME of the homeless people who are trying and do not get any opportunities but not the others who are not helping themselves.”

Nicola Long said, sarcastically: “Just what we need down there: more drunks and homeless. People coming to our business on Saturday got to see them drinking, dumping waste, falling over and [defecating] the middle of the estate."