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Volunteer works to get Chicago's homeless to hotel amid dangerous cold

Chicago man helps homeless find shelter from extreme cold
Chicago man helps homeless find shelter from extreme cold 02:14

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Some of Chicago's homeless checked into a hotel Friday night to escape the brutal and dangerous subzero cold.

As CBS 2's Charlie De Mar reported, it was all thanks to one man whose good deed may save lives.

Jermaine Jordan is proving what it means to give a helping hand. Video showed Jordan assisting a man out of his tent.

Jordan said frostbite caused that man to have some of his fingers amputated.

As the dangerous cold has ripped through Chicago, Jordan has scoured so-called tent cities and train platforms looking to help the homeless get out of the cold and into a warmer safer place

"Getting our beloved homeless, and getting them food, and getting them to a nice warm hotel," Jordan said.

These people who took Jordan up on his offer were cold, but grateful. The money for the effort comes primarily from donations raised online.

"It's been really, really cold out there," said Lisa Esterdahl, who is experiencing homelessness. "My hands get numb. My toes get numb. I've been having to sleep on the L's."

"I just want to take a shower," said Lisa Piet, who is also experiencing homelessness. "This is my first time reaching out for help - and I got very, very lucky - because this is horrible weather – horrible."

After being treated to a warm meal, more than 60 people who originally planned to spend the night on the streets in this dangerous weather will instead spend the next week in a warm hotel.  

"My hope is to be able to give them somewhere; hopefully be able to reach out and get them better resources, you know - because shelters are full," Jordan said.

"I can't believe this, it's like a dream," said Edwin Padill.

"It is a blessing from God for all of us - and especially around the holidays," added Esterdahl.

Chicago operates six warming centers across the city whenever temperatures drop below freezing. The Englewood Center at 1140 W. 79th St., North Area Center at 845 W. Wilson Ave., South Chicago Center at 8650 S. Commercial Ave., Dr. Martin Luther King Center at 4314 S. Cottage Grove Ave., and Trina Davila Center at 4312 W. North Ave. are open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Garfield Community Service Center at 10 S. Kedzie Ave. is open 24 hours a day.

Residents can also warm up at the city's public libraries and Park District buildings.

If you would like to help, Jordan has setup a GoFundMe to continue his work in helping those in need. 

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