Community rallies around homeless teen who cycled six hours to college campus

A homeless teenager found sleeping in a tent outside a Georgia college after biking six hours to get there is receiving an outpouring of help and support from across the country.

Police discovered Fred Barley, 19, sleeping in a tent in the bushes of Gordon State College campus in Barnesville last week.

At first, police told the teen to come out with his hands up.

Fred Barley was sleeping homeless in a tent but was determined to register for his college classes

Barley (center), here with his longtime girlfriend Shaina, has become almost part of the family of Casey Blaney (right)

But instead of kicking him off the grounds, the cops sat down and listened to his story. It turns out Barley is homeless and he rode his little brother’s bicycle more than 50 miles in the blistering heat from Conyers to the campus to register for classes for his second semester at Gordon.

Then he decided to stay there until the dorms opened. However, they don’t open until July 18.

Barley had a bowl of cereal and two jugs of water to last him until he could find a job.

Impressed and touched, the two officers put him up in a motel room for two nights.

That’s where this incredible story of support started.

One of the officer’s wives posted the teen’s story on a community Facebook page and those moved by his determination began stepping up to help, according to WSB-TV.

Casey Blaney, one of the women who first heard about Barley’s story, couldn’t get him out of her mind.

She and her son, Cole, went to go find the teen at the motel when she knew his two days were up.

Asking what she could do for him, he said the only thing he wanted was a job.

Blaney and her son hit the stores, and found a job for him as a dishwasher at DBs Pizzeria, owned by Debbie Adamson.

Someone touched by Barley's story of his determination to succeed sent him a new man's mountain bike and running shoes - a far cry from the little boy's bike he rode 50 miles to register for classes

‘I created a position for him before he walked in the door,’ the big-hearted woman told the outlet. ‘I didn’t know his name. I didn’t know the color of his skin. I didn’t care. I’ve been there so I guess I have a soft spot for anyone that is that determined to succeed in life.’

Blaney said she ‘cried and cried’ when Barley asked if he could spend more time with her and her family as he felt a connection with them.

‘How could this happen to this kid?!’ she asked.

Blaney then set up a GoFundMe page for him, which brought in donations of clothes, shoes, furnishings, and even a new mountain bike, and over $53,000 in funds in two days.

Blaney recently posted a video on Barley’s brand new ‘Success for Fred’ Facebook page in which she said she would be taking Barley to a bank to talk about opening a trust for him.

Blaney and her family leave for Hawaii soon as that is where her military husband is stationed, but the community has taken over the role of becoming Barley’s family.

‘Some of the gifts aren’t as important as the friends I’ve made,’ the inspiring teen told WSB. ‘More important than everything – the clothes, the shoes – the relationships mean so much more to me.’

Barley is a biology major and hopes to go to medical school after college.

Source: The DailyMail

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