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The Nice Guide to Right Now

Very Good Human Gets Hotel Rooms for 70 Homeless During Chicago's Storm

"We’re thrilled they’re safe and warm, at least for a few days."

by River Donaghey
Jan 31 2019, 7:00pm

Photo of a homeless camp near the Dan Ryan Expressway by Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Image

Chicago is currently being ravaged by some truly heinous and deadly winter weather. At least eight people in the Midwest have died from the polar vortex so far, with temperatures plunging below the negative 20s this week. And just to make matters worse, the city is bracing for something called "frost quakes," which are apparently a real phenomenon and not something the SyFy channel just invented for a movie or whatever.

But on Thursday, the Chicago Tribune reported an extraordinarily nice story that is sure to warm some hearts in the middle of all this fucked up weather. According to the Tribune, an anonymous donor decided to get hotel rooms for 70 homeless people so they can stay warm while the city rides out the storm.

Earlier this week, members of a homeless camp near the Dan Ryan Expressway had been braving the heat with the help of some donated propane tanks. But after one of the makeshift heaters exploded Wednesday, the Chicago fire department confiscated hundreds of the things, for safety reasons.

Unfortunately, this was the second-coldest day ever recorded in Chicago, and, uh, not exactly the greatest time for the city to take heat away from nearly 100 people—so one incredibly thoughtful Samaritan reached out to the city and offered to put the entire camp up in hotels on Chicago's South Side for the rest of the week.

"We think it’s wonderful that there’s somebody out there that has decided to be so kind to provide a warm place and a safe place for these folks to go," Salvation Army spokeswoman Jacqueline Rachev told the Washington Post. "We’re thrilled they’re safe and warm, at least for a few days."

Rachev apparently doesn't know who the mystery donor is—they opted to keep their identity a secret—or even the name of the hotel. But seeing as how even the cheaper motels in Chicago can run around $50 a night per room, the good Samaritan is likely paying at least a few grand to house the whole homeless camp through the storm.

"It’s a deadly situation for anyone," Rachev told the Post. "We’re thrilled that someone was in a position to be able to do this."

Chicago's dangerously cold temperatures are supposed to shoot back up into the 50s by Monday, but until then, some of the city's homeless population will be able to stay safe, all thanks to one thoughtful, selfless soul.

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