Homeless treated to swanky lunch don't get money promised - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Homeless treated to swanky lunch don't get money promised

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In this Jan. 7, 2014 file photo, Chinese billionaire Chen Guangbiao addresses a news conference in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) In this Jan. 7, 2014 file photo, Chinese billionaire Chen Guangbiao addresses a news conference in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) - The 250 homeless people who were treated to lunch at a swanky restaurant in Central Park were not given the $300 each was promised by a Chinese tycoon.

Recycling magnate Chen Guangbiao, 46, is known for his philanthropic publicity stunts which on Wednesday included singing 'We Are The World' to members of the Rescue Mission shelter at The Loeb Boat House restaurant.

But in the advertisement Chen place in the NY Times and Wall Street Journal ahead of the free lunch, he also promised the money to each person in attendance. 

Instead, the shelter- the oldest in the United States- said Chen agreed to give them  $90,000 which would be used to feed 500 people a day for 90 days.

The shelter issued a statement on Thursday:

"We regret that miscommunication, likely due to translation, which created expectation for our guests that they would receive cash. We stand by our position to help our guests through food, shelter, clothing and counseling rather than by giving cash."

The shelter's policy is to not give people money because "of the risk that it will be spent in ways harmful to the individual."

"A promise was made. I put my hopes and heart on something and that was going to be the key point to getting me out of the homeless system," said a member of the Rescue Mission.

"For whatever reason you’re doing it, your word should be your word and you should uphold it."

A man who didn’t want his family to know he was homeless told FOX 5 News he was going to use the $300 to buy a bus ticket to get back to Texas to reunite with his family.

Earlier in the week Chen handed out $100 bills on the streets of New York.

He has said he wants to disprove the cliché image of rich Chinese spending money mostly on luxuries.

Forbes estimates Chen is worth more than $700 million. Born into poverty, Chen said that two of his siblings died from starvation. He said he hauled trash and cold water and snacks to put himself through school.

Chen once distributed small oxygen tanks to people on the streets of Beijing to draw attention to the poor air quality in the city and country.

Earlier this year, the man who bills himself as China's "No. 1 philanthropist," told reporters in New York that he had brought two women to the U.S. to undergo surgery for disfiguring burns they suffered when they set themselves on fire during a protest in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 2001.

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