Colorado Sen. John Kefalas will be sleeping outside Saturday night to help raise awareness for homelessness in the area.
Kefalas attended a fundraiser Nov. 5 for the Homelessness Prevention Initiative in Fort Collins where he met HPI Executive Director Amanda Hodge. Hodge said they had a goal of raising $20,000 that night, according to a press release.
“I have a bet to lose,” Hodge said, according to the release. “I bet our Board of Directors that if we reached out goal, I would ‘Sleep Out’ with area youth on Dec. 5 to raise awareness for homelessness in our community. I’ve never been camping.”
Kefalas joined her in the bet.
The event raised $26,000, beating out years where the event has raised $18,000-$19,000.
“I am delighted HPI beat the goal and can help more people remain in their homes this winter,” Kefalas said in the release. “I will gladly lose this bet, along with Amanda, and Sleep Out!”
Residents need to be aware that, as housing prices rise, homelessness becomes more of a possibility for many residents, Kefalas said.
Youth are invited to join Kefalas and sleep out Saturday with Plymouth Congregation, and all residents are invited to attend the event. HPI will be accepting donations at the event and Homeless Gear will be there to accept donations such as blankets and socks.
HPI catches families before they become homeless, according to the press release. The organization provides struggling families with a stipend, which is paid directly to the landlord. HPI serves about 600 families per year. It can cost thousands of dollars for a city to support and re-home a family once they become homeless.
Collegian Breaking News Editor Sady Swanson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @sadyswan.