Inspired by a starving a homeless man, this amazing girl built 12 tiny homes and started a community garden
A 14-year-old girl has been feeding and sheltering the homeless for the past 8 years.
When Hailey Fort was 6-years-old she noticed a homeless man outside of grocery store. Once she realized he hadn’t eaten for days, she ran back into the store to buy him some food.
When she returned to the starving man with a sandwich, she was greeted with tears of joy.
From then on, she decided her mission in life was to help the less fortunate. But how could she feed all of those in need?
With a heavy heart, Fort realized she couldn’t afford to buy all the homeless people food. “If I can’t buy them food, then I’ll grow them some,” she remembers thinking.
So she started digging. First she dug through gardening books, then she dug a garden.
While Hailey’s first yield of carrots, soy beans and potatoes only fed a handful of people, it was enough of an inspiration to solicit help from others.
With the support of her community, she’s transformed her once-small garden into a micro-farm the produces over 250 pounds of food per year for the homeless of Kitsap County, Washington.
“Empty stomachs hurt. They break concentration and make the future seem impossible. Giving food is essential to creating health,” says Fort on her Facebook page.
When she realized the homeless were also in need of… well.. a home, she teamed up with her neighbors, started a GoFundMe page, and received discounts at local stores to build them portable shelters.
Since then, she and her neighbors have built 12 super tiny homes.
“It just doesn’t seem right that there are homeless people,” Hailey said. “I think everyone should have a place to live.”
Hailey’s outreach has helped with more than just food and shelter, it’s also provided thousands of toiletries and feminine hygiene products. She also does a yearly winter campaign to collect coats for those who need one.
She once received a $3,000 dollar donation at Christmas to help poor children. As she was passing out clothes and other gifts from the donation money, kids were yelling, “Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus!”
After helping the homeless for close to a decade, she’s realized even more help is needed. So now she’s meeting with government officials to see if there’s a way to provide affordable housing for those who are less fortunate.
If a 14-year-old and small community can do all of this, imagine what we could all do together.