Nampa woman walks a mile in homeless shoes

Nampa woman walks a mile in homeless shoes

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by Maggie O'Mara

Bio | Email | Follow: @maggiektvb7

KTVB.COM

Posted on February 17, 2014 at 12:04 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 19 at 10:33 AM

BOISE -- Nampa's Shaylee Hatch has a pretty good idea of what it's like to be homeless, because she has gone out and lived it.

The ambitious 20-year-old has a passion to help young people her age who are out on the streets.

She has big plans to start a foundation here in Idaho and making people aware of the situation is the first step.

"I want people to realize that there are 18 year olds out on the streets," she said. "It's real, they are really stuck in this situation."

Shaylee was first inspired in high school, meeting kids in foster care who had no where to go at 18.

"I heard their stories, and one of them was about to age out of the system and it just kind of started a spark inside of me and it went from there."

Now she's spending days and nights on the streets in cities across the U.S. to raise awareness about homeless young people. She's taking her video camera right along with her.

"My goal is to capture that and really show people what it's like," she said.

She's working on starting a non-profit, called the Temporary Home Foundation.

"With Temporary Home, our goal is to have an apartment complex set up here in Boise for them to reside at and programs for them to get in college, finish high school, get jobs - really give them that solid place they can call home and the support they need."

Being out on the streets has been a real eye-opener for Shaylee. She started in Boise over the holidays.

"We slept on the streets. It was cold and we ate Thanksgiving dinner at a homeless shelter, but it was the best Thanksgiving I ever had, because I felt that pure gratitude. These people who are homeless are talking about what they are grateful for, yet they don't have anything. It was so eye opening to me to hear their stories and feel that, the real-ness of the holidays."

Then it was on to Salt Lake City, and most recently Atlanta for Christmas.

"That was definitely a little more real, because it's a bigger city and a whole new level of homelessness there."

It took a toll on her.

"It's not easy, it's kind of really hard actually, it's hard. And knowing that we are just here for a few days is nothing and knowing that people are out here that this is their life. They are stuck out here all the time. The love that I felt for these people when I was out there is indescribable."

Shaylee says she has a calling.

"I want to start here in Idaho, and then go national. This is it, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life."

Shaylee plans to host fund raisers to raise money for her foundation, and get non-profit status.

You can check out the beginnings of The Temporary Home Foundation right now online on her Facebook page.

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