Hotels for Homeless: Anonymous Donor Helps 70 Vagrants Stuck in Bitter Chicago Cold

February 1, 2019 Updated: February 1, 2019

As Chicago experiences a spell of bitter cold, a group of 70 homeless people camping together for warmth and safety were offered a helping hand by one anonymous sympathizer.

The group spent the night of Tuesday, Jan. 29 camping in makeshift tents near Chicago’s University Village. In an effort to protect themselves from brutal, freezing temperatures, they were warming themselves by the heat of 100 propane tanks. The tanks themselves had been donated.

"The Salvation Army was prepared to welcome approximately 70 individuals who were affected by the explosion but was…

ABC15 Arizona 发布于 2019年1月31日周四

Temperatures sunk to -22 degrees Fahrenheit (-30 degrees Celsius) in the early hours of the morning.

However, with the best will in the world, one of the tanks exploded on Wednesday afternoon, sounding the alarm to local authorities, who rushed to the neighborhood and issued a severe warning.

Chicago Fire Department Chief Walter Schroeder recalled, speaking to the Chicago Tribune: “When we got there, the fire was extinguished and they found all these propane cylinders.” The true plight of the homeless group became apparent as the fire department revealed just how many cylinders they were using, and just how dangerous it had been to do so. “We escalated it to a Level I Hazmat,” Chief Schroeder continued.

The group was in possession of so many propane cylinders that it would have been “like a bomb going off” if they had exploded in unison, Schroeder revealed.

In such desperately cold temperatures, it is unlikely that the group would have had the collective will to abandon their one and only heat source. It is equally likely that they had no idea of the true danger of the situation.

The Chicago fire department diligently confiscated every single one of the remaining propane cylinders. And the neighborhood’s branch of the Salvation Army rallied together to make plans for the group, now without a heat source. They would be sent, it was decided, to a warming center in the city known as the “Freedom Center.”

However, it wasn’t long before a much more appealing offer presented itself.

An “anonymous donor,” moved by the plight of the city’s sizeable homeless community, offered to pay for the entire group to move into a hotel on Chicago’s South Side. The group was invited to stay in the hotel for an entire week, for rest, recuperation, and much-needed respite from the freezing cold.

Eventually delivering much more than a break from the cold, the heated hotel rooms may have been the difference between life and death for some members of the group; the National Healthcare for the Homeless Council report that 700 homeless people are killed from hypothermia annually in the United States.

These are upsetting statistics.

“It’s a deadly situation for anyone,” agreed Jacqueline Rachev of the Salvation Army. “We’re thrilled that someone was in a position to be able to do this!”

Jacqueline did not know the name of the anonymous donor, but called them a “wonderful citizen.”

We send our thoughts and prayers to the country’s homeless during the coldest winter months. “Wonderful citizens” are often too few and far between, but there are incredible people out there, and there is extraordinary strength in numbers.

Kindness truly makes a difference!

Please be sure to like, share, and comment on this story to show support for the country’s homeless community—the more we educate, the more we can change things for the better!