Hailey Fort was only 5 years old when she had her ‘buddha moment.’ She noticed a homeless man near where she lives in Washington state. She didn’t understand the concept of someone not having a place to stay, so she asked her mom if she could help him.
So, for the last four years, that is exactly what she has been doing (with some help from her parents). She learned to build simple shelters. She had plans to complete 12 by the end of this year.
The first beneficiary met a certain set of criteria to make sure the idea was a good fit, and because of his graciousness when receiving help. Meetings with the city have determined how to provide this without causing a problem.
Another of Hailey’s projects is growing fruits and vegetables for the homeless. She had harvested and delivered almost 115 pounds of vegetables as per her last update on that subject on her Facebook page, dubbed ”Hailey’s Harvest.”
Her mom said that the homeless are people she considers friends, and that’s what keeps her going. ”Hailey is repeatedly told that she can stop at any time but she continues because this is her passion. I think a lot has to do with setting such high goals and then the rush she gets when she meets them.”
Along with the 12 shelters and hundreds of pounds of food, Hailey conducts coat drives (one is ongoing now), and also provides toiletries to the area homeless. Her GoFundMe page has raised over $45,000 at the time of this writing, blowing away her original goal of $1000, and giving us all hope for the good of humanity.
The cost of building shelters is about $300 apiece. The price is low due to the generosity of the community. Also, costs are kept low using pallets as structure and recycled material as insulation. The little houses boast curtains, siding, drywall, vinyl flooring, solar powered lighting, and a locking mechanism.
Dad, Quentin, said Hailey’s – and Mom’s – selflessness “comes from a place which seems foreign to most but seems completely natural to them.”
“It is no surprise to me that Hailey is this selfless with Miranda as an example, I am immensely proud of the contributions Hailey has made and will continue to make to her community. I just hope we, as parents, can do enough to satiate her desire to help those in need.”