Take the step and “meet me halfway”
What makes a man walk 1700 miles in these frigid cold temperatures (often below freezing), even sleeping outside by himself, alone, homeless (w/ a home) and by his own choosing, good question – it is not his first time being out in the cold or being alone, what is different is the 1700 mile journey from Nashville, Tennessee to Phoenix, Arizona (seventeen hundred miles).
His name is Jimmy Wayne (Barber) and his reason and cause is to bring attention to for homeless youth of America, For those that know of him, he is a country singer and song writer, who in his youth was also homeless (at age 14) and lived on the streets, in foster homes and came from a broken home! Those days of youth are not forgotten to Jimmy and in many ways it is what made him who and what he is today.
“The slogan “Meet Me Halfway” may well be the “pay it forward” of this decade to those that have what it takes to help those whom cross each others paths, on the lonely street of today and tomorrow for the homeless youths of the United States of America.”
“"I realize beginning a mission like this in the dead of winter and walking through the middle of the country is going to be difficult, but I hope and pray I am up to the challenge. It's going to be cold, rainy and maybe even snowing and that ground I sleep on at night is going to be really hard. But that's what the homeless are dealing with each and every winter they go without a home of their own. Our country is too great for us to have people who are suffering so. And events of the past 12 to 14 months have increased the number of people especially children and young adults without a safe place to sleep. We as a nation have got to end homelessness and we've got to help these kids."
"Bea and Russell Costner took a chance on me, and I was certainly no poster child for adoption," Wayne said. "I was this teenager with long hair and tattoos, but they saw past that to the scared kid I was. They met me halfway by offering me a place to live and the opportunity to go back to school. But in turn I had to meet them halfway by helping myself, which meant studying, doing chores and following the rules. They provided me with a way to help myself make a life. They gave me a home, love and respect." Source: www.jimmywayne.com/
“This walk reminds me of those moments when I had to be out walking,” he said, his stubble-covered face peeking out of his ski mask. “It’s like I’ve dropped memory bread along the way all these years and this takes me back to that place of being so hungry and so hurt. That’s the part I hate reliving. It’s a great thing to be able to say I just want to go home and have a home to go to. I lived in trailers, and I would have given anything last night to be able to go to my trailer with the heat on. A home is a home. It’s warm. It doesn’t have to be a big fancy house. I hate looking over at those woods thinking, ‘I have to go in there and find a place to sleep.’” Source: blogs.tennessean.com
"It's a sleeping bag, tent and clothes," Wayne said. "That's more than what homeless kids have. There is no survival kit for homelessness."
"Some may perceive it as crazy. I perceive it as very challenging," Wayne said.
Current updates are at twitter.com and his web site meet me halfway.jimmywayne.com
The youth homeless services in Phoenix, Arizona HomeBase Youth Services
The youth homeless services of Middle Tennessee Collaborative Monroe Harding
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Phoenix, Arizona, United States