During the last 18 months, our nation has shown resiliency through unthinkable times. However it also brought to light the many who are dealing with the unthinkable. Extreme poverty, homelessness, hunger. These inequities, on top of dealing with a national pandemic, are being experienced at significant rates across the nation. 

According to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness:

  • Homelessness has increased nationwide for the fourth consecutive year.
  • Roughly 580,000 people were experiencing homelessness in the United States on a single night in 2020.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research:

  • 10.5% (13.8 million) of U.S. households were food insecure at some time during 2020.
  • Household food insecurity affected 14.8% of households with children in 2020. 

This week is National Hunger and Homeless week. Multiplying Good would like to highlight two of this year's national Jefferson Award recipients for their work to improve the lives of those dealing with hunger and homelessness. Along with countless others before them, these two have sacrificed and dedicated their lives to serving those in need.  

Toni Short - 2021 Award Recipient
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Outstanding Public Service Benefiting the Local Community

Not long after sustaining a neck injury as a registered nurse, Toni Short became homeless. She pulled into the Rehoboth Walmart parking lot where she lived for two years. But once she realized she was not the only homeless person there, she set out to help them all: motel rooms, meals, clothes, and money for people without homes. In 2015, she started the nonprofit Lighthouse for Broken Wings to provide permanent supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness. The first transitional house opened in 2016 and welcomed the people who had been living in their cars in the Walmart parking lot with her. She has worked without pay for her foundation and used her own money from outside jobs to pay for those who cannot pay to live in her houses, impacting the lives of over 500 people and raising $30,000.


Miamie Sleep - 2021 Award Recipient
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Outstanding Public Service Benefiting the Local Community

When Miamie Sleep realized there were over 180 homeless teens ages of 16 to 19 in Natrona County, she had to act. Miamie spent nights on the streets in Casper talking to them to find how to help. After 4 years of persistence, Miamie opened a home for girls and one for boys. Mimi’s House has successfully given homeless teens a purpose and essential life skills. Miamie has made a difference in so many lives because she saw a need and would not stop until every homeless teen has a home. Mimi’s House provides assistance in obtaining a driver’s license/ID, social security card, birth certificate, laying the groundwork of a healthy lifestyle. Youth even participate in 10 hours of community service each month while staying at Mimi’s House.