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Generous Woman Bought Hotel Rooms For Homeless During Polar Vortex in Chicago

The Polar Vortex that swept across the Midwest this winter was deadly. Residents experienced record low temperatures and positively brutal windchill. In times like these, it’s tempting to look out for #1. However, one woman from Chicago worried about her community and decided to do something about it.

A Community In Danger

Candace Payne, 34, and her husband routinely passed a conglomeration of homeless people living in tents on the south side of Chicago beneath the Dan Ryan Expressway. As forecasters urged Chicagoans to prepare for the Polar Vortex, Payne wondered what would happen to the people living under the bridge.

Payne told the Chicago Tribune, “We wanted to get as much of them out of there as possible.”

Moving To The Amber

She had an idea. She’d put them up in a hotel. The only one that would take them, however, was called the Amber. First, Payne rented 20 rooms for 70 dollars a piece on her American Express card.

Next, Payne tapped into her network in the real estate industry for help. Once she posted on a request on social media asking for donations, the people responded. She received funds to support the people staying at the Amber, as well as volunteers who prepared food and served everybody. By the end of the week, the good samaritans sponsored 60 rooms for 4 nights, keeping 120 people safe and warm.

Their Angel

Payne’s gesture did not go unnoticed. It’s a heartwarming story in a time of divided sentiment across our country. Two men—Jermaine and Robert—who stayed at the Amber described Payne to CBS News as, “their angel.”

Chicago Now

“We don’t get that type of help,” Jermaine said. “I really needed them at that point, so they came right in time.”

“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.

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