homeless-teen-helped
Facebook

Georgia College Student Cared For By The Community In Overwhelming Outreach Of Support

Good job, humans. 

Finally, some better news.

Just one week ago, Fred Barley was a 19-year-old homeless college student who rode his bike six hours each day just to make it to classes at Georgia's Gordon State college. He lived in a tent and had little if nothing to eat. But his world was transformed on July 9, after his story went viral.

Unfortunately, the dormitories at the Georgia college were closed until August, which led Barley to pitch a tent near some bushes on campus as he awaited the college's open. On July 10, officers discovered the makeshift home after responding to a campus call about a trespasser.

The officers explained to the biology major he couldn't sleep on the campus grounds and that's when they listened to his story. After hearing about his journey and struggle, the police officers escorted him to a nearby motel, where they covered his pay for the next two days. "The stuff that’s happening with police officers, I am black, and he didn’t care what color I was. He just helped me, and that meant a lot," Barley told WSB-TV. "He was so understanding and he said, 'I definitely I applaud you for doing this. We can’t allow you to stay here, but I have somewhere you can stay.'"

But the interaction didn't end there. One officer's wife was so moved by Barley's story she posted it to a community Facebook page. The video soon went viral, which inspired many many neighbors to help Barley. "I was shocked by how much support people will give from Lamar County and counties all over, and even people from across the country that I’ve never met just wanted to help so much in my life. I was just so shocked and grateful," said.

According to reports, one neighbor, Casey Blaney, and the motel where Barley was staying paid for him to remain in the room until he could move into the college dorms, which are now allowing him to move in early on July 18.  Barley was also hired soon after by a pizzeria in the area. "I created a position for him before he walked in my door. 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 had a soft spot for anyone who is that determined to succeed in life," Debbie Adamson, the owner of the pizza shop said.

In addition to shelter for the time being and a job, the Barnesville Georgia community has also gifted Barley with clothing, school supplies, and a new bike. They've also made efforts to buy him a car and take care of his medical and dental needs. "The most shocking part is so many people coming to help a stranger, because honestly in today’s society, this sounds like a scam," Barley stated. "Some of the gifts aren’t as important as the friends I’ve made. More important than everything—the clothes, the shoes—the relationships mean so much more to me."

A Facebook page was set up in addition to a GoFundMe account to help raise money for Barley. In just two days, the community has raised nearly $180,000. On July 16, Barley posted a video on Facebook thanking the community for their overwhelming support and generosity. Check out Fred Barley's video below.

From the Web

More on Vibe

A volunteer distributes food at CAMBA's Beyond Hunger Emergency Food Pantry on February 18, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The non-profit agency assists low-income residents and those affected by food stamp cuts. Currently the food pantry sees up to 4,500 individuals per month with the numbers rising. As Congress prepares to cut billions of dollars more from the food stamp program, food pantries around the country are preparing for an influx of those needing their assistance.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

SNAP Changes Place Nearly 700,000 People At Risk Of Losing Food Stamps

In a report by USA TODAY, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) assisted over 40 million Americans in 2017. Two years later, the program faces changes that may result in the loss of food stamps for 688,000 people. According to NBC News, the Trump administration will revamp the mandate that recipients work a certain amount of hours to be eligible for food assistance.

Those within the age range of 18 to 49 and have no children or are able-bodied were previously mandated to work no less than 20 hours a week in order to qualify. Now, as states were once allowed to excuse this requirement due to increased unemployment rates in certain states, the Trump administration will no longer allow states to practice this method. NPR notes Americans within that age range tallied at four million in 2016. The new mandate will only allow states to waiver a recipient's unemployment situation if that state's unemployment rate is six percent.

"We're taking action to reform our SNAP program in order to restore the dignity of work to a sizable segment of our population and be respectful of the taxpayers who fund the program," Sonny Perdue, Agriculture Secretary, said. "Americans are generous people who believe it is their responsibility to help their fellow citizens when they encounter a difficult stretch. That's the commitment behind SNAP, but, like other welfare programs, it was never intended to be a way of life."

Analysts state the government could save close to $5 billion through this new legislation. Out of the 2.9 million adults that fall into this category that utilize SNAP, 2.1 million are unemployed.

Continue Reading
Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Cory Booker Outlines $100 Billion Plan To Support HBCUs

In an effort to continue the support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), revealed a plan to do just that. According to The Hill, Booker shared on Tuesday (Dec. 3) a $100 billion investment agenda that'll focus its funds on the education departments in the form of grants, revamp infrastructure, and stand at the forefront of pushing policies that'll combat climate change.

"I am here today because of the power of these institutions to uplift and bring about opportunity to Black Americans," Booker said. "As president, I will redouble our efforts to support and invest in HBCUs across the country—my mother and father wouldn't have it any other way." His parents attended Fisk University and North Carolina Central University (NCCU).

Part of the proposal also aims to bolster HBCUs' Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs and support the Debt-Free College Act. The legislation has the potential to allow students at HBCUs, MSIs (minority-serving institutions), or public colleges to receive a higher education debt-free through public funding.

Another point of the plan aims to "provide $30 billion in grants to upgrade infrastructure, including facilities and technology, at HBCUs and MSIs to ensure all students have access to a world-class education in world-class facilities."

Read more of the plan's points here.

As the son of two proud HBCU grads (@FISK1866 and @NCCU!), I'm proud to announce that today my campaign is proposing the boldest-ever plan to invest in HBCUs: https://t.co/j7kpKmGRjV

— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) December 3, 2019

Continue Reading
Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP

Texas Appeals Court Grants Stay Of Execution For Rodney Reed Stay

A Texas Criminal Appeals Court granted Rodney Reed a stay of execution on Friday (Nov. 15). The decision came hours after the state’s parole board recommended that Reed’s lethal injection be delayed by 120-days.

Reed was scheduled to be lethally injected on Nov. 20. Although the court decision means that he no longer has an execution date, the parole board failed to approve a request to commute Reed's sentence to life in prison, the Washington Post reports.

The 51-year-old Texas native has spent that last two decades on death row for the1996 rape and murder of Stacey Stites. Reed has filed numerous appeals over the years but his story only recently went viral catching the attention of lawmakers and celebrities including Rihanna, Oprah, Beyonce, T.I., Kim Kardashian West, the latter of whom was visiting with Reed when his execution was delayed.

Reed, who has long maintained his innocence, says Stite's was killed by her fiance, Jimmy Fennell. Fennell’s lawyer Robert Phillips “laughed off” Reed’s allegations, according to numerous reports.

Fennell served 10 years in prison for the attempted kidnapping and rape of another woman while working as a police officer in 2007. He was briefly suspected in Stite’s murder. Authorities turned their attention to Reed after his DNA was found inside Stites, from what he contends was a consensual relationship. Reed, who is black, believes that race played a part in the case because Stites was a white woman. He was convicted by an all-white jury.

Reed’s legal team has also provided evidence to prove his innocence, including new witnesses.

"We’re happy that we’re going to have an opportunity to present the compelling evidence that Rodney Reed didn’t commit the crime," Bryce Benjet of the Innocence Project, who took on Reed’s case, told The Texas Tribune. "The Court of Criminal Appeals recognized the substance of this case and the need for a special hearing where all the evidence can be considered."

Continue Reading

Top Stories