Homeless but Determined, Teen Pitched Tent Outside College

Georgia's Fred Barley biked 6 hours to campus on child-size bike
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2016 8:50 AM CDT
Homeless but Determined, Teen Biked 6 Hours to College
Meet Fred Barley—and read his amazing story.   (Facebook)

When police received a report over the weekend of a tent pitched outside of Gordon State College in Barnesville, Ga., they headed over and asked the occupant to come out with hands in sight, the Herald-Gazette reports. Fred Barley, 19, emerged, and he had an amazing story to tell—and thanks to the cops' compassionate reaction, his story became even more amazing, per WSB-TV. A homeless biology major who'd come to register for his second semester, Barley had pedaled a 20-inch bike six hours from Conyers in the scorching Georgia heat with just his tent, a few belongings, some water, and a box of cereal, setting up his tent until the dorms opened in August so he could job-hunt. The officers were stunned and brought him to a motel, where they paid for two nights.

"I could tell he was a good kid ... who had been dealt a bad hand," officer Dicky Carreker tells the Herald-Gazette. Carreker's wife posted Barley's story on a community Facebook page, and that's when things really started to change for the student. Not only does Barley now have a place to stay—the motel owner and a local resident, Casey Blaney, have paid for his stay through Monday, when the college will allow him to move into the dorms early—but he also now has a job at a local pizza joint and has been showered with gifts from strangers, including a new bike, clothes, and school supplies. Blaney also started a Success for Fred Facebook page and GoFundMe page, which has already raised more than $36,000. "More important than everything—the clothes, the shoes—the relationships mean so much more to me," Barley tells WSB. Check out his emotional thank-you video on the WSB site. (Read more uplifting news stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.