Candice Payne’s selfless act soon inspired others to rent 60 hotel rooms to get 100 homeless people off Chicago streets during the historic polar vortex.
Chicago woman books hotel rooms to help homeless escape cold—prompts
What started with one woman’s act of kindness — putting up homeless people in a hotel during this week’s dangerous deep freeze at her own expense — soon snowballed to a lifesaving effort by a group of strangers on Chicago’s South Side. Real estate broker Candice Payne’s campaign sheltered more than 100 homeless in Chicago’s Amber Inn, which in turn lowered their prices to accommodate more people in need.
It all began with a “spur-of the-moment” Instagram post
As temperatures in the United States plunged to a once-in-a-generation low last week, Chicago real estate broker Candice Payne used her credit card to secure an initial 30 hotel rooms to shelter some homeless in the city’s South Side.
Several hotels turned her down before the nearby Amber Inn stepped in and accepted her booking request.
Payne posted a poignant message on her Instagram account, saying: “It doesn’t take much to be a blessing for someone else. It’s freezing cold and deadly temperatures outside! For the people who have nowhere to go, no money, no food, family disowned them… they need help. It’s not much but to get them out of the cold, feed them, and provide them with warm clean clothes is a start.”
I make a change, we make the difference
THE POWER OF ORGANIC CROWDFUNDING
Payne’s message evidently struck a chord as Chicago began to respond in kind and by opening up their purse strings — reported Rahul Venkit, for TopHotel.news
Initially, friends and strangers volunteered means of transport to ferry the homeless people from their tent city by Chicago’s financial district to the hotel.
Once donations started pouring in on her Cash App and QuickPay accounts, a GoFundMe campaign was set up.
effort would eventually help shelter more than 100 homeless people in almost 60 hotel rooms for a total of five nights.
THE AMBER INN: A HOTEL WITH A HEART
Robyn Smith, the manager of the Amber Inn, told media: “People from the community started piggybacking off Candice. Other people started calling and anonymously paying for rooms.”
Although each room was initially priced at $70 a night, Smith, in turn, lowered the price to accommodate more people.
Spread some of Candice’s “I MAKE A CHANGE, WE MAKE THE DIFFERENCE” attitude around
Despite temperatures persisting at around -30 degrees Celcius for longer than expected, incoming donations meant Payne could not only prolong their hotel stay, but also feed and provide supplies such as groceries, toiletries and medical packs.
At the time of publishing Payne’s campaign has collected more than $14,500.
Among the people she helped shelter from the cold were two pregnant women and a family of five.
“We had to accommodate everyone. It was really overwhelming. They were so appreciative. They couldn’t wait to get in a bath and lay in a bed,” Payne said.
“I am a regular person,” she added. “It all sounded like a rich person did this, but I’m just a little black girl from the South Side.”
“I thought it was unattainable, but after seeing this and seeing people from all around the world, that just tells me that it’s not that unattainable. We can all do this together.”
Candice’s “I MAKE A CHANGE, WE MAKE THE DIFFERENCE” attitude has already inspired many in Chicago. Let’s spread some of that attitude around our own neighbourhoods.
Help Candice help others: a GoFundMe initiative to help displaced people who are homeless
Purchasing, renovating, furnishing properties to place the misfortunate in a comfortable living situation. Candice is Chicago’s very own residential redeveloper. This has driven me to a new purpose! It is time to put together a more permanent solution for the homeless who wants help! I will acquire homes on the south side with my own money and I’m going to use go fund me platform to raise the renovation money and provide housing for the homeless. Bringing in other entrepreneurs and businesses to help provide job opportunities and connecting these individuals to them is my mission! With you guys help we can do this!