Homeless Student’s GoFundMe Dispute Settled

A homeless Georgia teen who says he biked six hours a couple of weeks before classes started to arrive on his college campus safely has been wrapped up in a dispute over a GoFundMe account created in his honor.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that 19-year-old Fred Barley, the student, and Casey Blaney, the Barnesville, GA woman who started the account for Barley’s college education, have resolved their dispute.

$184,000 was raised on the GoFundMe account for Barley to cover his living expenses and tuition at Gordon College. But the account was suspended after the two could not come to terms with where the funds will reside.

A couple of weeks ago, campus police found Barley in a tent. He arrived before the dorms were opened, and said he felt safer on campus than on the streets of his hometown of Conyers.

After discovering why he was there, the officers took Barley to a local motel and paid for two-night’s stay. Blaney, who spotted Barley’s story after it went viral, met him and was immediately compelled to help, reports say. She posted her own endorsement on Facebook and started the GoFundMe site.

“Please pray for him. Please share some life with him,” she posted on Facebook on July 11. “If you want to help him with clothes, shoes, food, gift-cards, anything on your heart. Please let me know and I’ll get it to him. He’s worth it. I promise.”

Barley’s attorney and Blaney’s lawyer had agreed on the establishment of a trust that will cover his living expenses and tuition.

“Mrs. Blaney would like to turn over everything to her lawyer, and does not want anything to do with the trust account any longer,” Barley said in his Facebook post. “Together, my attorney and her attorney are working cooperatively to ensure that all assets donated go strictly to me and in a trust that I agree with. Thank you everyone for your prayers and standing behind me through everything. God makes a way.”

Blaney’s lawyer, Wright Gammon, said the fundraiser was shut down because of the “sheer size of the amount of giving.”

“She felt that continuing to accept funds would be taking advantage of the public,” Gammon said. As a result, Blaney has been accused of keeping the money for herself,” her lawyer said.