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AMES, IA (March 21, 2018) — Rain or shine, three local agencies are challenging Central Iowans to sleep outside on the field of Iowa State University’s Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday, March 24 to raise much-needed funds and awareness for youth homelessness in the community. Registration is now open at

Reggie’s Sleepout – Ames will benefit YSS, Assault Care Center Extending Shelter and Support (ACCESS) and the Emergency Residence Project (ERP). These agencies work to address the needs of youth experiencing homelessness in Central Iowa.  

Deb Fennelly, wife of Iowa State women’s basketball head coach Bill Fennelly and one of three honorary chairs, said “I feel so lucky to be in a community like Ames that cares so much and provides resources to those who need it. We are fortunate to have these organizations addressing this problem and serving our most vulnerable, our kids.”

Hundreds of campers are expected to sleep in tents or box structures under the stars.  And while one night on the field can’t truly replicate what it is like to be homeless, Reggie’s Sleepout does provide an experience that helps those who participate understand the concern.

The issue is somber, but the event won’t be. There will be a band, a professional comedian, games, free food, music and more for campers to enjoy. While it’s free to attend the event, organizers hope people will engage in peer-to-peer fundraising for this important cause. All donations stay in Central Iowa.  This year’s goal is $100,000. 

Senator Joni Ernst will also be present to deliver remarks during the event. She plans to discuss efforts to combat homelessness and ensure access to mental health care, as part of her 99-county tour.

Presenting sponsors for the event are McFarland Clinic, Wells Fargo and Iowa State University.

More about YSS

YSS provides hope and opportunity to more than 7,000 children, youth and families annually through a comprehensive offering of prevention, treatment and transition programs. As a leading, state-wide youth-serving agency, YSS gives children and youth a place to find their voice, heal with compassion, make healthy choices, feel safe and secure, learn life skills, grow their confidence and ultimately, stand strong.

YSS has spent more than 40 years putting kids first, offering a wide range programs from birth to adulthood, including school-based prevention programs, outpatient counseling and therapy and transitional services for at-risk and homeless youth. For more information, please visit

More about ACCESS

The mission of the Assault Care Center Extending Shelter and Support (ACCESS) is to address the roots and impact of domestic and sexual violence through services that enhance safety, empower survivors and promote understanding and social justice within our community.

ACCESS provides a host of services geared toward enhancing safety and supporting the healing of victims of all ages in Central Iowa. Services include crisis intervention, counseling, advocacy in systems such as courts or medical services and community education. ACCESS meets the need of homelessness or unstably housed youth and adults through a scattered site emergency housing program, long-term transitional housing, financial assistance for housing and basic needs and long-term care coordination. For more information, please visit 

More about ERP

The Emergency Residence Project (ERP) is an organization engaged in offering shelter and assistance to the homeless and to those facing homelessness, providing short-term emergency shelter to people experiencing homelessness, transitional living to families experiencing homelessness and emergency rental and utility assistance so people can stay in their homes.

It is the goal of ERP to involve the community in the provision of services, including providing meals to shelter guests. For more information, please visit

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