• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 15s

‘Cardboard City’ fundraiser raises awareness for Mat-Su homeless

By Kate McPherson 11:13 AM July 19, 2014

An exact number of how many people are homeless in Alaska is difficult to calculate. The Mat-Su Borough School District estimates up to 800 children face homelessness. And on any given night, there are 60 to 80 families in the Valley struggling to find shelter, according to Family Promise.

The Wasilla-based organization’s yearly fundraiser – ‘Cardboard City’ – was held Friday night at the Alaska State Fairgrounds. Dozens of participants gathered pledges and built cardboard structures, with the larger goal of raising awareness for the Mat-Su homeless population.

The shelters constructed this year ranged from simple to complex.

“Winging it,” said Tommy. “I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing,” said the 18-year-old as he wrestled with duct tape and scissors.

But other participants came prepared. “My dad is a civil engineer,” said Becca Coleman, who brought measurements and a mini model of her planned shelter. “Make it structurally sound,” she said.

It might sound like a fun night of camping, but the significance isn’t lost on Coleman.

“You just never know what circumstance, be it an injury or the economy laying people off, you just never no what moment is going to turn your world upside down,” she said.

The money raised by ‘Cardboard City’ on Friday will help parents who’ve fallen on hard times.

“Over night it happened to us and we had nothing,” said mom of three Katie Bryan, whose husband Devin lost his job in January 2013. “So we were on welfare and were able to stay for a little bit but once the lease was up we had to leave.”

Katie was pregnant with her third child, Leeray.

“We were running out of help, we were in a tight situation,” said Devin Bryan.

With nowhere else to go, the couple turned to Family Promise, who provided the couple and their three children, including the newborn, with private accommodation. The Bryan’s also had help buying diapers, clothing and gas. It was enough for them to get back on their feet, and within two months the family of five were out of the shelter and Devin found work.

“They helped us get car insurance so that we could get a vehicle to go back and forth to work,” said Devin.

“We are back in our own place again, my husband has a good job and I couldn’t ask for anything else,” said Katie.

While Katie and Devin played with their three sons around Cardboard City, Will Sandidge, a junior at Colony High, was part of a group of students that broadcasted live from a ‘studio’ made out of cardboard. Their show – ‘Teen Talk’ – was heard over 89.5FM.

The sleep-out fundraiser ended at 8am Saturday morning.

Latest Stories

  • Utah man indicted in death of wife on Alaska cruise

    by Associated Press on Aug 17, 17:21

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – A Utah man accused of killing his wife on a cruise to Alaska has been indicted on a murder count. Kenneth Manzanares was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury in the death of Kristy Manzanares. The indictment was made public Thursday. Kristy Manzanares was found dead in a blood-splattered cabin […]

  • News

    Barcelona terror attack: Several dead in shootout with Spanish police in Cambrils

    by CBS News on Aug 17, 16:40

    CAMBRILS, Spain — Police in Spain say they have shot and killed several people south of Barcelona while carrying out an operation in response to a terrorist attack. The regional police for the Catalonia region said on Twitter early Friday that officers are in Cambrils, a seaside resort town 62 miles from Barcelona. According to […]

  • Authorities investigating incident at Alaska prison

    by Associated Press on Aug 17, 16:25

    FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) – Authorities are investigating an incident at a prison in one of Alaska’s largest cities that a state corrections spokeswoman says resulted in minor damages to the facility. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports local police and the Alaska State Troopers set up a perimeter outside of the Fairbanks Correctional Center during the […]

  • Lifestyle

    Nokia finally has a flagship Android phone and it’s beautiful

    by CBS News on Aug 17, 16:07

    At last, Nokia has a true flagship Android phone to get excited about. It’s called the Nokia 8 and unlike Nokia’s existing Androids — the 3, 5 and 6 — this one is a real powerhouse. At its core is a top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with 4GB of RAM. I’ve already run some benchmark […]

  • News

    Barcelona terror attack: At least 13 dead after van barrels into pedestrians

    by CBS News on Aug 17, 15:43

    BARCELONA, Spain — A van veered onto a sidewalk and barreled down a busy pedestrian zone Thursday in Barcelona’s picturesque Las Ramblas district, swerving from side to side as it mowed down tourists and residents and turned the popular European vacation promenade into a bloody killing zone. Thirteen people were killed and 100 were injured in […]

  • Politics

    Senator: Alaskans should vote on tax, oil-wealth proposals

    by Associated Press on Aug 17, 15:26

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – A Republican state senator pursuing a run for governor says Alaskans should get a say on whether the state should impose an income tax or make changes to how the earnings from Alaska’s oil-wealth fund are handled. Sen. Mike Dunleavy of Wasilla says both issues should go to an advisory vote. […]

  • News

    Creditors’ claims could sink Alaska Dispatch News deal, buyers say

    by Chris Klint on Aug 17, 14:21

    The family slated to spearhead a purchase of the state’s largest newspaper defended its proposed financing of the deal in court filings Thursday, saying the paper only has weeks’ worth of pay remaining for employees and that the roughly $1 million purchase won’t occur if other creditors can recover their money from the paper first. […]

  • Driver charged with hitting stopped Glenn Highway motorist

    by Chris Klint on Aug 17, 13:12

    A man trying to help a motorist stopped along the Glenn Highway in rush-hour traffic this week was struck by another vehicle and severely injured, with the driver Anchorage police say is at fault now facing assault charges. Krista Ruesch, 34, was charged with operating under the influence, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment in the […]