On July 9, Fred Barley was sleeping in a tent outside of a local college by local law enforcement. Barley was a homeless college student who had “ridden his little brother’s bike six hours from Conyers to Barnesville to register for classes for his second semester of college.” When he was found by police, Barley was told to come out of his tent with his hands up.
Thankfully, Barley wasn’t hurt in the encounter with Barnesville police.
The creation of the page, Success For Fred, and his GoFundMe raised almost $9,000.
Barley hasn’t disclosed as to how he became homeless. His story brings attention to a large population of black homeless youth, who are largely invisible to service providers. Black youth are also less likely to call themselves “homeless,” despite not knowing where they’ll sleep from one day to the next and used the term “couch surfing.”
Barley notes that community support in Barnesville has helped him during this period in his life. “The most shocking part is so many people coming to help a stranger, because honestly in today’s society this sounds like a scam,” he told WSB-TV Atlanta.
“I was not expecting any of this support and am in awe of how this community has come together to help me,” he told the Herald Gazette. “I was just trying to go to school, find a job and make it on my own. Now it seems as though I am part of a new community and have a new family.”