Chicago woman starts movement to house homeless during cold snap

A Chicago woman has started a grass roots movement to house homeless people during a historic cold snap.

Candice Payne impulsively booked 20 hotel rooms for people living on the streets after realising how dangerous temperatures in the United States have become, CBS News reports.

Temperatures have plummeted across the upper Midwest of America as a polar vortex, which AccuWeather describes as a larger pocket of very cold air, strikes the region.

Minneapolis hit -29degC and photos show the Chicago River filled with large chunks of ice.

Other people got involved in helping homless people stay out of the cold after Ms Payne posted about her move to book the hotel rooms on social media.

"Maybe they didn’t know how to or where to start to help, so I’m glad that I was able to be that vehicle," she told CBS News.

Volunteers have now paid for 60 hotel rooms and set up important amenities, like a makeshift kitchen inside a bathroom.

Ms Payne told CBS news the group didn't know each other before getting involved in helping.

The group has helped 80 people so far and hoping to continue finding long-term solutions for people once the cold snap ends.

Homeless men Jermaine and Robert called Ms Payne an angel after facing a choice of another night facing the cold or getting charged with trespass.

"We don’t get that type of help," Jermaine said. "I really needed them at that point, so they came right in time."


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