Reggie’s Sleepout in the Drake Stadium


Photo by Lida Asilyan

Reggie's sleepot

Photo by Kabrina Brady
Photo by Kabrina Brady


Reggie’s Sleepout was created in 2005 in memory of Reggie Kelsey, a young man who had an endearing personality but suffered from hallucinations and depression. He was aged out of the foster care system in 2001. He worried about how he would survive on his own. After being kicked out of his latest foster care placement, Reggie bounced from one shelter to another, and within three and a half months, was found dead in the Des Moines River.

As a result of Reggie’s death, Youth & Shelter Services, Inc. (IHYC’s parent organization) led the effort to develop the Iowa Aftercare Services Network to provide services to those aging out of foster care. Iowa Homeless Youth Centers (IHYC) work to eliminate homelessness among children, youth and families in Central Iowa.

Every year in October, people from all over Iowa fundraise money for this event and are willing to help support homeless youth and sleep under the sky in box buildings. October 27 was the 13th Annual Reggie’s Sleepout, which brought over 300 community members together. By Saturday, all volunteers and fundraisers had collected $99,000.

Eleven ADM students with the group name “Strong ADM” fundraised a $375 to support homeless youth as well.

Youth homelessness is still a big problem and awareness needs to be brought to it,” said Emma Brown. “So I thought would be cool to get together to come to Reggie’s Sleepout, to raise money and also bring awareness to this topic, have fun sleeping under the stars and in a cardboard box. Thankfully it’s not too cold this year. This is my second year and the first year was a lot colder, it was raining, so this year is quite a blessing. “