Couple buys out hotel for homeless in the snow

MEDFORD, Ore. — “Thank you. I was so afraid to lose them all,” Melissa Mayne, founder of Compassion Highway Project says while hugging the woman who bought out 45 rooms in a hotel for the homeless on Tuesday night.

“That was my goal. I saw your post on Facebook and I couldn’t pass it,” Amberly Batten, responded.

Amberly Batten and her husband Ryan couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help people in need.

“I had seen some posts about some people who were homeless that were contemplating suicide because they were cold and didn’t have anywhere to go and that hit something in my core, I had to do something,” Batten said.

The Battens paid for 45 rooms at Americas Best Value Inn in Medford so those struggle with homelessness would be off the frigid streets, and in a warm hotel room.

“That was our goal we wanted to make sure as many people as possible could have somewhere warm to sleep tonight,” Batten said.

One of the many people who will be staying in the hotel tonight is 8-year-old Osiris Lewis. Osiris was extra excited to stay in the hotel because the 27th is a special day.

“The reason why is because it’s my birthday tomorrow and I’d like to not spend my birthday in a vehicle. I’d like to be in a room,” Osiris said.

Many people in the community stepped in to help. The Battens, along with other families, sponsored rooms at Americas Best Value Inn for the homeless, making it possible for Osiris to spend his birthday outside of their car.

“A couple came in and paid for 45 hotel rooms and it makes me cry so we have an awesome community and that’ll save lives tonight,” Mayne said.

In addition to those who sponsored rooms, Americas Best Value Inn lowered room rates to  45 dollars to help make it easier for people to pay for shelter.

The Joy Riders club also donated more than 52 pizzas to those who were staying at the hotel.

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Blakely McHugh
Blakely McHugh is co-anchor of NBC5 News at Sunrise and spokesperson for In This Together, a suicide prevention initiative. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Blakely is a native of San Diego, CA. Blakely is excited to be in southern Oregon, a place that gets all the seasons and has similar temperatures to Arizona in the summer! When she’s not at work, you can find her relaxing at home watching TV and cuddling with her cat, Dallas. She also enjoys trying new places to eat and exploring the outdoors. Blakely loves meeting new people so if you see her out and about, say “hi!”