Chicagoans Step Up to Help One Another During Brutal Cold

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With the Chicago area set to see another big drop in temperatures this weekend after an initial bout of the extreme cold, some residents and community leaders are doing whatever possible to help others stay warm.

For instance, local restaurant owner Robert Magiet is spending his mornings driving around the city and stopping at as many tamale stands as he can afford. His reason: to purchase all off the sellers' products, so they don't have to spend several hours in the bitter cold.

"One day I saw a tamale vendor on the street that looks really cold, and I stopped and bought her out, and we’ve been doing it pretty much daily ever since," he said.

Another resident, Jermaine Jordan, is raising funds to support those experiencing homelessness and also providing food. In the last few weeks, Jordan has put up more than 100 people in hotel rooms he purchased.

"Yesterday I took three groups of people and got them some groceries, toiletries," he said. "I just want to be a help to the community."

Meanwhile, Chicago leaders are echoing those efforts, urging people to help one another.

Weekend highs are expected to only reach the single digits, prompting the city of Chicago to increase its efforts to assist residents, such as by providing two overnight warming centers.

"City agencies have been working around the clock, doing wellness checks, heat complaints..." said Rich Guidice, executive director of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

To request a wellness check in the city of Chicago, residents are encouraged to call 311. For information on warming centers, head to the city’s website.

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