Candice Payne went to great lengths to make sure more than 70 people didn't freeze to death.
Thankfully Candice Payne, a real estate broker from Chicago, made sure that some of the homeless in her hometown were taken care of. Through her determination, compassion, husband’s support — and her American Express card — the 34-year-old made sure that more than 70 homeless people were given shelter and food during the cold snap.
But it wasn’t easy. As Payne shared with Today, she faced a lot of rejection from hotels when seeking help for these marginalized men and women. Luckily one hotel called the Amber Inn was “nice enough to allow me to buy the rooms,” Payne explained.
Payne made a plea for help on social media to help ferry the homeless to the hotel, “I’m renting 20 hotel rooms for the homeless. If anyone has a van or a passenger van that will help me transport the homeless to the hotel, I’ll pay you,” she explained in an interview on NPR. Fortunately, many other generous souls put their hands in their pockets and came to help and offer further donations so Payne was able to book a total of 60 rooms for 5 nights, including a warm meal, so the homeless would be both protected and fed.
View this post on Instagram
It don’t take much to be a blessing to someone else! It’s freezing cold and deadly temperatures outside! For the people who has no where to go, no money, no food, family disowned them… need help it’s not much but to get them out the cold, feed them, and provide them with warm clean clothes is a start.
The next difficulty she came across was persuading some of these homeless men and women to desert their spots. They were anxious about leaving behind their sole possessions and familiar areas, but the kind-hearted Payne reassured them that she would personally replace anything that got lost or stolen. Despite the obstacles she faced — some of the people had disabilities, and one was pregnant — Payne helped them find warmth and safety.
Payne’s heroic actions have had a deep affect on her. “They’ve definitely changed [my life] because you don’t know until you’re either in it or next to it,” she shared with the radio station. She now wants to find some more permanent solutions to help men and women who find themselves on the street.
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?