Good News

This Woman Organized Putting Up Homeless People In Chicago In Hotel Rooms During The Recent Deep Freeze

She booked hotel rooms for 70 homeless people.

The recent polar vortex hit the U.S. hard. The bone-chilling low temperatures of last week left homeless people, in particular, at risk of freezing in the extreme weather.

In Chicago, a group of good samaritans took action to help a homeless encampment in a wooded area by an expressway. After a fire at the camp, police confiscated propane tanks, which people there planned to use for heating, due to concerns over potential propane explosions.

The Salvation Army planned to move those in the camp to a warming center. But before that happened, a group of volunteers led by Chicagoan Candice Payne stepped in to help.

They put people up in motel rooms at the Amber Inn in Bronzeville — the only place that agreed to the arrangement. The volunteers used their own funds to pay for the rooms, and they also turned to social media for assistance.

In the end, Payne, her husband, their friends and people who responded to her Instagram posts secured a block of about 60 hotel rooms. They shuttled homeless residents there and helped feed and supply the group through the cold snap.

“This is just regular people trying to help,” Payne told the Chicago Tribune. “We wanted to get as much of them out of there as possible.”

In the double-digit-below-freezing weather produced by the polar vortex, the recommendation is to stay inside a heated shelter. If you do go outside, the recommendation is to wear multiple layers, waterproof clothing, hats, mittens and gloves, and even cover your mouth and eyes if possible.

The homeless campers in Chicago could have experienced frostbite, hypothermia and worse if they’d remained in their unheated tents during the deep freeze.

chicago polar vortex photo
Getty Images | Scott Olson

Payne, a real estate developer, says she wants to buy a multi-unit building to help house people experiencing homelessness permanently, not just during extreme cold.

In an Instagram caption about her future goals to help the homeless, she reminded her followers, “A lot of us is ONE paycheck away from a bad situation so don’t look down on someone who is willing to work hard!”

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This was a true selfless act of Love, Care & Concern WITHOUT looking for any publicity or notoriety just wanting to help in a time of true need! Much appreciation and blessings to everyone who is continuing to help “the friends” this has inspired me to help with a more permanent solution! I will be acquiring a multi unit building this week out of pocket! I will raise the rehab through donations and go fund me! This is not out the norm for Candice because she is a real estate developer! The solution is housing, job readiness and job placement!!! I speak with the friends they want to work! A few told me I thank you for the room but I wanna work for it so what can I do for you!! I am willing to create a job with in my company and I know it’s other entrepreneurs who is willing! A lot of us is ONE paycheck away from a bad situation so don’t look down on someone who is willing to work hard! I am going to need help with this mission! Thank you all @candicepayne_ @ace___1 @ibuyhomescash_

A post shared by Candice Payne (@candicepayne_) on