Source: TODAY / Alexandra Zaslow
Fred Barley left his hometown for college earlier this month with nothing more than a tent, some clothes and a few gallons of water.
Now, about two weeks later, he has so much more — including over $180,000 in the bank — thanks to the kindness of strangers.
In early July, the 19-year-old rode his little brother’s bike 50 miles to Barnesville, Georgia, where Gordon State College is located.
The dorms don’t open until August, but Barley wanted to get there early to register for classes, so he found some bushes on campus and pitched his tent, local WSB-TV reported.
He didn’t mind calling it home for a few weeks. Barley, who was in his second semester at the school, is homeless and had brought everything he owned from Conyers, a small town some 25 miles east of Atlanta.
On July 9, after spending the day job searching, Barley was in his tent resting when police approached and asked him to come out with his hands up, according to a friend’s account.
But as soon as they heard his story and saw the single box of cereal he’d packed for food, they took him to a motel and got him a room for a few nights.