At 9 years old, Hailey Fort is already doing what most adults have’t – backing up her beliefs with actions. After meeting a friend, Edward, who is homeless after losing his job, she decided to put her power tools to use and build him an insulated place to sleep.
That’s right – Hailey has power tools and knows how to use them.
“It just doesn’t seem right,” she told local KING 5 News, “because I think everyone should have a place to live.”
She’s not stopping there. The Bremerton, Washington girl is building 11 similar shelters for Edward’s homeless friends. The shelters are 8 feet by 4 feet, complete with windows and insulation, so that people can keep dry and warm while they sleep.
“I don’t really want him to be rained on by all the bad weather we get here,” she told KING 5.
But building shelters to give homeless people isn’t all she’s doing.
A few years ago, she was moved by the sight of a homeless man, and she and her mother bought him a sandwich, KING 5 reports. But Hailey thinks big. That inspired her to plant a garden so she could feed more people. Her garden supplies a local food bank. Last year she donated 128 pounds, but her goal this year – of course – has grown. She wants to give 250 pounds of produce in 2015, according to the Huffington Post.
She also hands out toiletries to homeless people she sees around town, KOMO News reports.
If only politicians would get on the same page. An Economic Roundtable study focusing on Santa Clara County in California concluded that homelessness is expensive.
“Between costs related to healthcare, social welfare, and the justice system, Santa Clara County as a whole spent $520 million on services for homeless residents” between 2007 and 2012, the study found. The conclusion? According to Business Insider, “it turns out the best way to combat homelessness is to provide homes.”