Good Samaritan helps more than 70 homeless people stay in hotel during polar vortex

A record-breaking freezing temperature has wreaked havoc in the midwestern states. From class suspensions, canceled flights, to devastating deaths- the minus 56 Fahrenheit temperature brought by the Polar Vortex sure is a force not to be reckoned with.

People across the state are suffering from the chilling weather, particularly the homeless. Without a roof over their head, the homeless are the most vulnerable to the arctic-like temperature. Given this dangerous situation, it sure is not hard to feel for our socially disadvantaged brothers.

Knowing the dire consequences of being exposed outdoors at a temperature much lower than Antartica’s inspired a woman with a golden heart to help the homeless. Thinking about them, the woman paid for hotel rooms and inspired a lot of people to help as well. In total, her generosity, compassion, and hardwork provided hotel rooms for about 70 people living in tents amidst the chilling temperature in Chicago! Learn more about her inspiring story below.

Youtube | CBS Miami

Because of the frigid weather, a lot of people have been generous to the homeless, donating not only money but supplies that are necessary for their survival amidst the dangerous cold. Among the supplies being given is a propane tank, which poses even more danger to the homeless due to their fire hazard nature.

“During extreme cold weather, we understand that people want to help our homeless population.” The fire chief explained. “However, we ask that under no circumstance should you donate propane tanks which are potential fire hazards. Propane tanks can cause potential fires and explosions.”

To ensure the safety of the homeless, the fire department confiscated around 100 donated propane tanks. Unfortunately one of these had exploded, causing damages to the sleeping tents.

Photo | Sun Times

Because of the accident, the Salvation Army decided to transfer the homeless at their warming centers located at 825 North Christiana Avenue. But before they could make the necessary changes, a kindhearted real estate developer reached out through the city authority and offered to pay for hotel rooms that would keep the homeless safe and warm.

“Isn’t that wonderful? At least they’re warm and they’re safe.” Jacqueline Rachev, the spokeswoman of the Salvation Army, shared the good news in an interview. “Some wonderful citizen is going to put all of them up at a hotel for the rest of the week.”

As they say, it only takes a spark to lit a fire. And so thanks to the thoughtfulness, generosity, and compassion of Candice, help continuously poured out.

Instagram | Candice Payne

In a now-viral Instagram post, the kind real estate developer named Candice Payne announced that she had booked 30 hotel rooms at Amber Inn motel for the homeless and that she needed help for their transportation.

“It’s freezing and deadly! I just secured 30 hotel rooms for the homeless. Need help getting them there. Tag anyone who has a passenger van. I will pay you to help!” The kind real estate developer said, seeking help.

Instagram | Candice Payne

Fortunately, her Instagram post did not fall on deaf ears. A lot of people expressed their desire to help out as well. And soon the kindhearted and generous people were able to book about 60 rooms for more than 80 people.

“I have people dropping by daily to help who have seen the story on Instagram,” Candice recalled. “They have volunteered money and time and cars because we had to get them to the hotel.”

Photo | Sky Scanner

In every situation lies a silver lining. The life-threatening freezing temperature may have taken lives and caused damages, but seeing people gather together to help others sure is a breath-taking sight! People did not only donate money, some of them even shared their precious time and skills by cooking and serving meals for the homeless. While the others evacuated the people taking refuge at the tent city affected by the propane explosion.

But Candice’s team did not stop at that. The volunteers also drove around Chicago’s South Loop to look out for people exposed in the dangerous cold to offer a warm place for them.

Instagram | Candice Payne

“We got people from the police stations, hospitals, outside huddled around fire pits. We drove around looking for them,” Candice explained. “What inspired me was my current blessings, so I was just trying to give back.”

Indeed, Candice and the volunteer’s golden hearts are the true testaments to Rolland’s words… that a true hero is someone who does what he can.  And in the case of Candice, it was sharing her blessings which saved the lives of the homeless from the dangers of the subzero temperature!

WATCH and SHARE the touching video below! Learn how Candice and her inspiring story kept the hearts of the homeless warm amidst the freezing temperature brought by the Polar Vortex.

Video | CBS Miami

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