An encounter between police and a teenaged college student is inspiring people all over the over the internet. Officers in Barnesville, Georgia responded to a report of a man living in a tent in the bushes of Gordon State College. Rather than arresting the man, 19 year old Fred Barley, the officers who investigated the call were fascinated by his story.
Barley told the officers that he was a student at the college, and had traveled six hours by bike in the summer heat with only a few bags of his personal belongings to register for the fall semester. As the school’s dorms do not open until August, Barley planned on getting a job and staying in his tent for a few weeks.
While police were understanding of his predicament, they could not allow Barley to stay in his tent. Instead, one of the officers paid for him to stay two nights at a motel. Barley was more than appreciative of the kindness shown by the police, saying, “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’s story quickly spread on Facebook and the motel owner and local residents are paying for him to stay at the motel until school starts. DB’s Pizzeria, a local business, also hired Barley on the spot as their new dishwasher.
Even more astounding, a GoFundMe page for Barley has raised $169,000 so the teen can finish school and find a permanent residence. While Barley is extremely appreciative of the generosity shown to him, he feels that the greatest gift of all has been the friendships he’s made in the last few weeks, saying, “the relationships mean so much more to me.”