The Chicago woman who booked hotel rooms for the homeless during this week’s polar vortex says that the idea was impulsive, and a result of her “current blessings.”
Candice Payne told CBS Chicago that she charged 20 hotel rooms at the Amber Inn motel on her credit card after hearing that 70 homeless people were stranded with no source of heat. The fire department confiscated about 100 donated propane tanks because they posed a fire threat.
After the initial 20 rooms, she was able to crowdfund more money from donations on Facebook, allowing her to book another 40 hotel rooms through the end of the week. Donations of transportation, food, and money also flooded in.
The Salvation Army had gotten a request to shelter about 70 people but later learned it wouldn’t be necessary because of Payne and her team.
“All of us don’t know each other,” Payne said of all the 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.”
“We got people from the police stations, hospitals, outside huddled around fire pits. We drove around looking for them,” Payne later told CNN. “What inspired me was my current blessings, so I was just trying to give back.”