Fayette County Community Leaders Go Homeless to Raise Money for Homeless Children

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LEXINGTON, Ky (WTVQ)-Tuesday night, you may have noticed a few more people sleeping on the streets of Lexington, or maybe you did not. That is exactly why they were out there.

For 24 hours 40 community leaders are experiencing homelessness to raise money for homeless kids. It is a response to the large number of children reported homeless in Fayette County schools.

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The volunteers in the homeless experience just have $3.00, some snacks, a bus pass, and each other.

They are trying to experience just a bit of what life is like for homeless children in Lexington.

“If you are always having to be hyper-vigilant about your surroundings and whether you’re safe then you’re not in a place where you can learn well,” said Rebecca Ballard Diloreto, a volunteer from the Institute for Compassion and Justice.

The group has to figure out simple things we take for granted like where to use the bathroom and how to get medical supplies, but they have to do it all in the dark.
“It’s frustrating at first and then it becomes really unfair,” said Jennifer Van Ort, a volunteer from NAMI Lexington.

Imagine having to walk everywhere, to worry about being attacked while you sleep, to have to do a school assignment based on your home when you don’t have one.

“You think about all the lost potential where people could give back so much more if they weren’t so concerned about where they were  going to live and be for the day,” Ballard Diloreto said.

So for this day, these people willingly give over their peace of mind in the hopes they will one day be able to share it with all Fayette County kids.

“We all have a place that we go home to tomorrow night so they don’t and we need to keep that in mind,” Ballard Dilloreto said.

The 24 hour homeless experience will end Wednesday evening, but it is part of a month and a half long effort to house families as they work towards finding more permanent homes. Several community groups are working together to raise money. They say every $700 donated will house a family in a fully furnished apartment for a month.

For more information visit Give Kids a Home online.

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!