Local police and residents in Barnesville, Georgia, have offered assistance to a homeless man who reportedly rode his bike 50 miles to get to college.
Fred Barley, 19, a second-semester student at Gordon State College in Barnesville, arrived on campus July 10 after a six-hour bike ride in the summer heat, WAGA reported. Barley, who wanted to make sure he got to the school in time to register for classes, arrived with only two duffel bags of his possessions and two gallons of water, according to a GoFundMe page created to help raise money for Barley.
The homeless man, who reportedly rode a 20-inch child's bike 50 miles from Conyers, Georgia, slept in a tent on campus and ate only cereal while waiting for the dorms to open on July 18.
When campus police found the homeless student, they ordered him to come out with his hands up. However, when Barley told them about his situation, they decided to put him up in a hotel room in Barnesville.
"We get to talking with him, asking where he's from and he tells us [the] story of [his] bike ride from Conyers," Officer Richard Carreker, one of the officers who discovered Barley, told WAGA. "I'm like man, this is crazy."
After local residents heard about Barley's plight, several pitched in to help the young man.
Debra Abramson, the owner DB's Pizzeria in Barnesville, offered Barley a job washing dishes at her restaurant.
"She just hired me on the spot," Barley told WAGA. "Didn't even know my first or last name."
Another Barnesville resident, Casey Blaney, helped pay Barley's hotel bill and created several websites, including a GoFundMe page and a Facebook group called Success For Fred, to help raise donations for the homeless biology major.
The GoFundMe page, which was created July 12, has raised more than $6,000 in two days. The goal of the page is to raise $10,000.
Barley, who plans to enroll in classes July 15, told WAGA that he is extremely grateful for all of the help he has received.
"I can take it out there and sleep in a tent without a job or I can come down here and do something and apply my life and make something better for it," he said.