The Good Samaritan who paid for hotel rooms for homeless people in Chicago as the city experienced frigid temperatures this week has been identified as Candice Payne, according to CBS Chicago.
Payne began “impulsively charging 20 hotel rooms on her American Express card after realizing how dangerous this week’s sub-zero temperatures would be,” according to reports.
Her kind and heartwarming gesture inspired others to rent 60 rooms for homeless men and women during the polar vortex.
A Good Samaritan is helping the homeless in Chicago by offering to pay for hotel rooms for 70 people who had to leave their homeless camp during the city’s frigid temperatures on Wednesday, according to the Chicago Tribune.
A vacant lot near Willis Tower was where nearly a dozen tents had been set up by homeless residents, and propane tanks were being used as a heat source as Chicago experienced an arctic blast that sent temperatures plummeting below zero. One of the tanks exploded, prompting officials to remove the other ones because of safety concerns.
“When we got there, the fire was extinguished, and they found all these propane cylinders. That’s when we escalated it to a level 1 hazmat,’’ Fire Chief Walter Schroeder told the Tribune. “There was a significant amount of propane there. And with that many cylinders, that’s like a bomb going off.”
Salvation Army spokeswoman Jacqueline Rachev called the good Samaritan’s actions “wonderful.” She added, “At least [the people going to the hotel] are warm and they’re safe.”
The organization had been checking on the people at the homeless camp and was planning to move them to a Salvation Army warming center when city officials informed it that someone was going to put people up in a hotel.
“Some wonderful citizen is going to put all of them up at a hotel for the rest of the week,” said Rachev.