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Hotel Provides Home For Needy Family

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Mai Martinez Mai Martinez
Mai Martinez co-anchors CBS 2 Chicago’s weekend evening newscasts and...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — CBS 2 received an e-mail from one Chicago mother about ”great compassion” and ”a wonderful woman” who helped them and how it was all ”truly touching.”

CBS 2’s Mai Martinez has the original report.

Watching four-year-old London play, it’s difficult to imagine the hardship her family is facing.

“We got evicted Monday so we really didn’t have anywhere to go,” said Velez’s email.

The family found a cheap motel, but felt it wasn’t safe for London and her sister Brooklyn.

They pawned what they could and scraped together enough for one night at the Hampton Inn and Suites downtown.

“We just wanted to get the girls off the street. We were tired, and we were trying to call shelters,” said Velez.

Leslie Velez says she was shocked by the warm welcome from staff. She sent an email thanking them and explaining their situation.

The next morning at check out, an even bigger shock when a hotel staff member name Kara told them they could stay.

“I was like ‘but we can’t stay,’ and she was like ‘no, you’re not going anywhere. You have nowhere to go, and you guys aren’t going to be on the streets,” said Velez.

When asked how it felt, Velez responded, “My heart felt like it exploded in my chest. You’re just so happy that your kids won’t have to be on the streets cold and shaking and hungry.”

Velez returned to her room and wrote CBS 2 an email, praising the hotel staff. CBS 2 shared it with them today.

“It feels good.” said Michael Flynn of the Hampton Inn & Suites. “This is why I’m in the industry.”

“It’s not a normal thing that we do here, but it’s something that, it needed to be done,” said Ken Menenhall of the Hampton Inn & Suites.

The family is trying to find a shelter or place of their own in the next couple of days. They hope it will be in Lakeview so their daughter doesn’t have to change schools.

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