Ellen Meets Inspiring Woman Who Helped Homeless During Polar Vortex

Ellen Meets Inspiring Woman Who Helped Homeless During Polar Vortex


Last week, the
polar vortex caused some of the coldest
temperatures in US history, making the city of Chicago
colder than Antarctica. Our next guest used money
out of her own pocket to buy hotel rooms for more
than 100 homeless people in her community. She did it with no expectation
of anything in return. And that is the type of
person I want to meet. From Chicago, Illinois,
please welcome Candice Payne. [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC – BEYONCE – “HALO”] You’re everything I need more. It’s written all over your face. Baby, I can feel your halo. I know you won’t fade away! I can see– Hi! Hi. So nice to meet you. Candice, you’re just
amazing, you’re awesome. OK, you live in Chicago. And how cold was it, actually,
when you started this idea? On Tuesday, it was
negative 20, already. And Wednesday, we were
looking at negative 50. So freezing. Wow. So you planned on staying in. And then what happened? What changed your mind? Because this is just
brilliant, what you did. So I called my office and
told my assistants, look, don’t come in tomorrow. It’s going to be too cold. Because I’m not coming in. And this is just going to be a
regular workday in the house. I get to watch TV. And then I started thinking,
what about the people who live outside, who
don’t have a home to go to? And it was a no-brainer. I picked up the phone. In my mind, I’m like, OK, I can
go and charge 20 hotel rooms on my American Express. And as I get to calling
around, no one wanted them. It wasn’t good for business. And– None of the hotels
wanted homeless people. They were not– no. Yep. No. One motel actually,
when I called– it’s the Amber Inn– the manager picked up and said,
absolutely, whatever you need, whatever you want. The Amber Inn Motel. Good for you, Amber Inn Motel. [APPLAUSE] All right, so how many
rooms did they have? I asked her how many
she had available. And I think– I don’t remember the
number that she had. But I know I secured 30 of them. And then, as I get off the
phone with her, I’m thinking, like, OK, now, how do I get
these people to this room? I got one truck. So I went to social media. And I posted, hey, I just
secured 30 rooms, 30 hotel rooms for the homeless. And I’ll pay you if you
have a truck or a van to come help me transport them. That post went viral. It was absolutely amazing. That’s amazing. OK, so now, it seems like
you needed more rooms. So then what happened? Yeah. So with that particular
post, it also got people to coming
in, pitching in, helping to purchase rooms. So initially, I started
off with 30 rooms. And it was only going
to be one night. By the time that
we looked up, we were able to secure five
nights and 72 rooms. We helped over 122,
it was 122 people. [APPLAUSE] And describe some of the
people that were homeless. You said there was a pregnant
woman, or pregnant women. Oh, yeah. We had all type of people. We had pregnant women. We had children. We had disabled people. We had people who just
got out of the hospital from having surgery
and, was just going to try and live on the street,
and was really overwhelming. You know, we’ve
got to do something about the problem
of the homeless. Because I know you
have a relationship, that your boyfriend was. Is that right? Yeah. Homeless. He was homeless. And the misconception
about homeless people is they think that they’re lazy,
or they just don’t want a job. And truth be told,
a lot of people are one paycheck away
from their same situation. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think, now, more than
ever, with the weather the way it is, all the disasters, people
losing their homes in fires, there’s a lot of
reasons– like you said, they’re one paycheck away. So we have to do something
about this homeless situation and help them. And the fact that
you did this is– just out of the
kindness of your heart. And I know that you went to
Walmart for a lot of supplies to help them out. Walmart heard about this. And they want to give
you a check for $25,000 to thank you for [INAUDIBLE] [APPLAUSE] Oh, my god. More Candice after this. We’ll be back. OK, what is next for you? Now, what are you going to do? So two years ago, I
started a not-for profit. It’s called to Action for Calls. I didn’t do anything with it. Because I didn’t know
what I wanted to do. Feeding homeless
or buying hotels, I can do that out of pocket. I didn’t know what
I was doing with it. I’ve now found my new purpose. And I’m in real estate. So I can use my
passion for real estate to help house the homeless. So I’m buying multi-units,
and I’m rehabbing them. I’m buying distressed
multi-units, rehabbing them. And I’m going to give– I’m going to house homeless. And hopefully, others will
jump on the bandwagon and help. I bet they will. I mean, it’s a great idea. And especially being
in real estate, you know what’s available. And you can get things for a
good price, and rehab them. And, well, I decided during
the break, I made a phone call. And I called Walmart. And I asked them to give
you another $25,000. So I– [APPLAUSE] Oh, my god! I know! You’re already up [INAUDIBLE]. Oh, my god! Thank you so much! Thank you so much! Help out Candice Payne. Go to our website.

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