Simpson students participate in Reggie’s Sleepout

by Sarah Stout


Saturday, Oct. 29 people came together at Drake Stadium for

Reggie’s Sleepout to build shelters out of cardboard boxes and show

support for youth homelessness.



estimate around 1,200 people attended the event,” said Time Nicol,

volunteer and events coordinator at the Iowa Homeless Youth




Iowa Homeless Youth Center puts this event on each year and

encourages everyone to come and stay. They keep people busy with

activities late into the night. They put on dances, and had a

singer there as well.



event allows participants to see out of someone else’s eyes, if

only for one night.



event came up six years ago because we were looking for a unique

event that would bring a good understanding of homelessness to the

community,” Nicol said. “We feel having people sleep out for one

night can at least shed a little light towards the homeless who

sleep out multiple nights throughout the year.”



groups of people ranged from schools, families, youth groups and

churches to non-profit organizations.



did the sleep-out with the Simpson Justice Seekers group,” senior

Beth Mullenax said. “This month we are promoting awareness about




students from campus participated this year. The students

constructed a cardboard box that became their shelter for the




of the groups spent a couple hours making their shelter, but it

depends on how big the group is,” senior Jorie Landers said. “Some

put a lot of effort into it. Some were elaborate. My favorite one

was an Igloo made out of shoeboxes.”


Mullenax also had favorite shelters.



of my favorites that I saw were a pyramid and a tiny ginger bread

house one,” Mullenax said. “There was one like a pirate ship even.

Many were just cubes, like our neighbors. They had thick cardboard

completely closed in and I bet it was roasty toasty.”



event raises money to help homeless youth in Iowa.



are still going through records, but I would assume we will raise

between $190,000 [to] $200,000,” Nicol said. “I know we have some

church groups that continue to do fundraising for Reggie’s through




Landers said she participates in Reggie’s Sleepout because she

wants to work with the homeless after her time at Simpson.



is important to me because I want to eventually work with the

homeless population if I want to serve them to the best of my

ability I need to understand their situation,” Landers said. “This

is the closest I can get to sleeping outside for the night, not in

the context of camping. It is a solidarity aspect too, to

understand where they are coming from, undergoing the same

suffering that they are experiencing”.



night of the event was a rainy one.



went to experience what it is to be homeless for a night,” Mullenax

said. “It began raining and I an epiphany of how lucky I am to have

a roof over my head and a family that supports me. A lot of the

children that Reggie’s’s supports do not have that.”



money raised from this events and others bring in help to support

children and families that are living on the streets for various

situations. The money is used to provide them with a place to stay

and a support system.



information about Reggie’s Sleepout can be found at