Earlier this week, we reported on the inspirational story of an anonymous Good Samaritan who paid for 70 homeless people to stay in hotels after there was a fire at their encampment. In the days since, more details have come to light about the situation, and it turns out that this charitable act was a combined effort of numerous volunteers, who were all inspired by the good deed of a local real estate investor named Candice Payne.
When Candice Payne heard that people would be out in the cold during Chicago’s record-breaking temperatures, she impulsively charged the first 20-30 hotel rooms to her American Express card and made a post about it on social media, inspiring dozens of financial and food donations.
“It don’t take much to be a blessing to someone else! It’s freezing cold and deadly temperatures outside! For the people who has no where to go, no money, no food, family disowned them… need help it’s not much but to get them out the cold, feed them, and provide them with warm clean clothes is a start,” Candice posted on Instagram.
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It don’t take much to be a blessing to someone else! It’s freezing cold and deadly temperatures outside! For the people who has no where to go, no money, no food, family disowned them… need help it’s not much but to get them out the cold, feed them, and provide them with warm clean clothes is a start.
The response was overwhelming. Candice quickly assembled a team of dedicated volunteers and generous donors.
“Maybe they didn’t know how to or where to start to help, so I’m glad that I was able to be that vehicle,” Payne said.
There is now a large group of volunteers working around the clock to deliver food to the people who are staying in the rooms paid for by Payne and others.
Volunteers Rent 60 Hotel Rooms To Keep Homeless People Off Chicago Streets During Historic Cold https://t.co/k9XuxHFPGH
— CBS Chicago (@cbschicago) February 1, 2019
Since The Mind Unleashed first reported on the story, even more people have been able to secure shelter in nearby hotels. CNN reported that volunteers have now rented 60 rooms for over 100 people. The volunteers have also said that they will be working to find long term housing solutions for many of those being housed in the hotels, if they are interested.
CBS spoke with Jermaine and Robert, two homeless men who were rescued from the weather this week.
“We don’t get that type of help. I really needed them at that point, so they came right in time,” Jermaine said.
“We hear about that on the news and other places but I seen it up close and personal today, and I really want to thank y’all for looking out for our people,” Robert added.
According to reports, at least 10 people have died as a result of the cold temperatures. The homeless population is at a greater risk during frigid weather than any other group. Some areas of Chicago have seen temperatures plummet to lower than 22 degrees below zero in the past week.