Woman who helped homeless during subzero temps seeks to do more

Cheryl Burton Image
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Chicago woman expands plans to help the homeless
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Candice Payne helped get hotel roomsfor more than 100 homeless people when temps dropped below zero.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- This winter's extreme weather inspired one Chicago woman to take action.

Many have heard the story of the South Side woman who bought hotel rooms for the homeless during last month's dangerous cold.

Candice Payne told ABC7 Eyewitness News she does not want to stop there.

She got 72 hotel rooms for five nights, helping more than 100 of Chicago's homeless men, women and children when subzero temperatures and bitter wind chills hit the city.

She now has new plans in the works to help the homeless.

The Auburn Gresham native said her act of kindness this winter has changed her perspective.

"It has given me a new purpose, because it has allowed me to understand how I can help them," Payne said.

Her professional background in real estate gave her the idea the fix and flip properties for the homeless. Her nonprofit, Action for a Cause, will partner with other local organizations to turn this idea into a reality.

"Just giving them a place to stay is a Band Aid, you know? Getting back in society and into the workforce is the plan. I have to partner up with other nonprofits who have the resources to do that, so I can focus on what I'm good at," Payne said.

She hopes she can inspire everyone to get on board and lend a helping hand.

"I can't help everyone. I can't end homelessness. But I can do my part to help. That's what I'm going to do," Payne said.

In addition to rehabbing properties, she is also working on using container homes to serve as sleeping quarters for the homeless.

If you want to help, visit actionforacausenow.org.