South Tampa restaurant turning into shelter for Hurricane Irma, offering free food, place to sleep

Owner: All humans, cats, and dogs are welcome

TAMPA - Ergin Tek said he will close his restaurant Gengiz Khan Mediterranean Grill for Hurricane Irma and re-open as a shelter.

RELATED: Hurricane Irma: Shelter locations

“This town has been really good to me and how can I not return it,” Tek said.  “We just want to make sure anybody who is in trouble, we are like an SOS we are ready and we will feed you.”

Tek said he has the capacity to sleep at least 100 people.  His staff agreed to stay on and volunteer in any way they can as well.  We talked to Tek as he was unloading a van full of supplies.

“You have potatoes and onions, that’s the start of a good soup,” Tek said.  “We have enough food for 10,000 meals right now.  I will hate to see somebody die from hunger in South Tampa something goes bad.”

Tek made a Facebook page to let people know about his shelter.  So far, he’s had tens of thousands of people comment on what he is doing.

“I'm very happy man.  I can do it,” Tek said.  “I’m really happy. I live in south Tampa for 18 years and what made me who I am are people in this neighborhood.  They support me in good days and bad days I have all these people supporting me.”

Tek said he has a friend that is a doctor that also volunteered to help him out if needed.

Right now, Tek said he is fully stocked on food for people.  But, he is low on dog and cat food.

“Anyone who can bring pet food, and also we are asking people to bring their own pillows and blankets,” Tek said.  

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