How is America’s longest-ever government shutdown impacting Chicagoans? What are people doing to lessen the burden felt by locals? In this article, we look at that specific issue as well as the more general problem of the city’s homeless population.
Companies in Chicago are helping people out by giving free lunches, tickets to the museum and even temporary employment. Getting a free sandwich at the Adler Planetarium doesn’t pay the bills but it’s a nice gesture to help people get through their day. Meanwhile at Horse Thief Hollow – a restaurant catering to federal workers at Midway Airport – is featuring a shutdown special with a free lunch valued up to $15.
Meanwhile 34-year-old real estate developer Candice Payne decided to help the homeless. Payne – whose own boyfriend was once homeless – was working from home one day when outside temperature was subzero. That inspired her to find a way to help out.
She set out by contacting hotels to see if they would open their doors to the homeless. After being turned down by many, she accessed 30 rooms at The Amber Inn. Transporting the homeless there proved to be her next challenge so she turned to social media. The post went viral and the end result was 72 rooms for 5 nights being booked, assisting 122 people thanks to numerous donations.
They say one good deed deserves another so perhaps that was why Payne was invited to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres show where she received a $25,000 gift token for Walmart.