Chicago priorities. Lincoln Yards or Candice Payne.

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Candice Payne rented 30 hotel rooms for more than 100 homeless people in Chicago when the temperature dropped to well below zero.

The homeless encampment stretches for blocks along the Dan Ryan Expressway just before you get to the Jane Byrne interchange heading north to downtown.

It’s easy to miss although it’s hiding in plain sight.

When the temperature in Chicago hit 40 below on Wednesday and Thursday, Candice Payne remembered the people in the encampment and found them rooms in a Chicago hotel.

The story went national.

There is the conventional wisdom that the homeless in these encampments – and they are all over the city – are filled with people who don’t want to be helped.

Not so.

Ms. Payne met two pregnant women and a family of five in the first group of homeless people who went to the inn.

“We had to accommodate everyone. It was really overwhelming,” Ms. Payne said. “They were so appreciative. They couldn’t wait to get in a bath and lay in a bed.”

Ms. Payne bought toiletries, food, prenatal vitamins, lotions, deodorants and snacks and made care packages to help make the people feel comfortable. Restaurants donated trays of food, and many people called the inn.

3 thoughts on “Chicago priorities. Lincoln Yards or Candice Payne.

  1. I commend Ms. Paine for her compassion and her emphatic response. On the other hand, each time an individual, or several, step forward in this way, it allows our government to step away from its obligation to care for all and particularly the most vulnerable. Chef José Andrés’ World Kitchen is another example. Helping to feed folks in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake is one thing, feeding federal works furloughed during the shutdown is another. Exactly what the GOP wants is to shred expectations that government will help.

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