The woman who booked hotel rooms for 70 homeless people in Chicago during the polar vortex says she impulsively rented rooms on her credit card before crowdfunding on Facebook

Candice Payne. CBS Chigaco
  • Candice Payne purchased hotel rooms on Wednesday for a group of 70 homeless people stranded in Chicago without heat.
  • She said she impulsively charged 20 rooms to her credit card after hearing that the fire department had confiscated the propane tanks the group was using to stay warm.
  • She then turned to Facebook for help raising money for the group, and donations poured in.
  • She and the group of donors have raised enough money to pay for the group to stay in hotel rooms through the end of the week.

The woman who booked hotel rooms for 70 homeless people in Chicago during the polar vortex has spoken out about her act of kindness.

Candice Payne told CBS Chicago that she impulsively charged 20 hotel rooms on her American Express card after hearing that 70 homeless people were stranded with no source of heat near Chicago’s University Village/Little Italy neighbourhood on Wednesday afternoon, when temperatures were below zero across the city.

The group had been left without heat sources after the fire department confiscated about 100 donated propane tanks because they posed a fire threat.

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A good Samaritan paid for hotel rooms in Chicago for 70 homeless people who were sleeping in tents with no source of heat during the polar vortex

Payne then turned to Facebook to crowdfund more rooms, and donations poured in from all over. In all, Payne and the donors picked up the tab for 60 hotel rooms.

Salvation Army spokeswoman Jacqueline Rachev told the Chicago Tribune that the hotel rooms were paid for through the end of the week.

“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.”

Two men in the group thanked Payne for the generous donation.

“We don’t get that type of help,” one of the men, Jermaine, told CBS Chicago. “I really needed them at that point, so they came right in time.”