RSO Frequently Asked Questions

HOW DO I SIGN UP?

Register here. You can sign up as an individual, create a team, or join an existing team.

IS THERE A REGISTRATION FEE?

No. New this year, we are waving the typical $25 registration fee. We don’t want to discourage anyone from being able to participate. All campers who plan to sleep out at Drake Stadium still need to register online.

However, we still ask that participants fundraise to support our youth! When you register, there is a $25 optional donation, which goes toward your fundraising goal and helps you earn fun incentives. 

DO I HAVE TO CAMP ALL NIGHT?

No. If you just want to come to Drake Stadium for just part of the event, you can get a guest wristband at the event check-in table. Guests must leave the event by 11 p.m.

DO I NEED TO RAISE MONEY?

It’s not a requirement, but we need everyone’s support to make this event a success! The money raised from the event directly supports youth receiving services from Iowa Homeless Youth Centers. Here’s how your money will help the community:

  • $25 helps three youth obtain an I.D., which is required to obtain housing and employment
  • $50 buys one monthly DART bus pass, so a youth can get to school, work, and shelter
  • $100 provides 200 meals at our IHYC Youth Opportunity Center
  • $250 provides 15 survival backpacks containing food, hygiene products, etc. to youth living on the streets
  • $500 provides 10 nights of safe shelter for one youth

You can receive incentives for raising money such as sweatshirts/T-shirts, a blanket, and more. We have prizes for the top fundraising team as well.

HOW CAN I RAISE MONEY?

Ask friends, family, neighbors, classmates, or co-workers to support your fundraising efforts. You can also ask members of your church, youth group, or community organization to get involved. They can write you a check or donate online on your behalf.

WHERE DO I SEND THE MONEY I COLLECT IT?

Send your donations (cash or check) to:

Iowa Homeless Youth Centers
Attn: Reggie’s Sleepout
612 Locust Street
Des Moines, IA 50309

Checks should be payable to Iowa Homeless Youth Centers. Donations can also be brought to the event from 3-7 p.m.

If you would like to donate money directly to the event and aren’t able to camp out, you can make a general donation at reggiessleepout.org.

CAN KIDS ATTEND?

Yes. Please note anyone under 18 must have a parent/guardian complete the minor consent form and bring it to the check-in table. Participants under 18 must also be accompanied by an adult 21 years or older at the event.

WHERE DO I SLEEP? 

You can bring a cardboard box, a pup tent (no stakes), or a sleeping bag to sleep under the stars. Do not bring a cot. 

You can find large cardboard boxes at many local businesses, including appliance stores, grocery stores, large electronic stores, and furniture stores.

To stay warm, please bring a tarp or layer of cardboard to put on the ground. Wear a hat (preferably wool) all night long, as well as clean, dry, wool socks. There will also be a warming text at the stadium. The event goes on regardless of weather, so if there is rain in the forecast, plan to bring a poncho, raincoat, or slicker.

HOW DO YOU ENSURE SAFETY?

Safety is a major priority. There will be on-site security provided by the Des Moines Police Department, field marshals, and a first aid table staffed by trained volunteers.

WILL FOOD BE AVAILABLE?

Yes. An evening meal will be provided along with water, coffee, and hot chocolate. Important: outside food, drinks, gum, and snacks are not allowed. Tobacco, e-cigarettes/vaping pens, and alcohol are also strictly prohibited. Violators will be escorted out of the event.

CAN I LEAVE THE EVENT AND COME BACK IN?

In order to maintain security at the event, the doors will be closed at 10 p.m. If you leave after that, you will not be allowed back in. Minors are not allowed to leave without a chaperone.

WHAT WILL I DO AT THE EVENT?

We have a host of activities throughout the night.

  1. Enter the Boxed Design Contest. Set up is from 3-7 p.m. Judging begins at 7 p.m. Awards are presented to winning boxes in the areas of Educational, Creativity, and Structural Integrity.
  2. Enjoy entertainment that will be going on from 3-10 p.m.
  3. Participate in Reggie’s Got Talent. Bring your singing voices, poetry, dance moves, and other talents to the show.
  4. Partake in additional outdoor activities throughout the evening.