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BARNESVILLE, Ga. – The dispute between a homeless college student and a woman who helped raise $184,000 in donations for him has been settled after she challenged the veracity of his story.
He was found sleeping in a tent in the bushes at Gordon State College.
The officers who found Barley helped him pick up his things and took him to a nearby motel, where they paid for a room for two nights.
Barley says he was simply doing everything he could to succeed.
“The Bible says, ‘You can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,’ so I know I can,” he said. “My legs are working. Millions of people walk and bike to work every day. I definitely think I can bike a couple hours to get to my future.”
One woman, Casey Blaney, heard about the teen’s story and decided to start a GoFundMe page to help raise money for his education.
The GoFundMe page brought in $184,000 before Blaney publicly challenged the veracity of the teen’s story.
“Unfortunately, multiple questions have been raised about Fred’s story,” Blaney wrote in the “Success For Fred” Facebook group. “We’ve received conflicting information about his initial story, and we just want to make sure the donors and the public have all of the information available to them before the funds are transferred to a trust to pay for his education. We just want to do the right thing, and we’ve asked for the campaign to be reviewed.”
GoFundMe then froze the money until the differences between Blaney and Barley could be resolved.
Blaney didn’t go into detail about what questions were raised.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the owner of the pizza shop where Barley worked told Blaney that the teen was leaving town to go to a different college.
However, Barley confirmed he still planned on attending Gordon State College.
College officials confirmed with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he is enrolled.
After that was confirmed, Barley and Blaney started clashing over how the donated money would be handled.
“Casey[Blaney] wanted to set up a trust overseen by a professional. Fred[Barley] was OK with a trust, but he wanted more say over who managed it,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Attorneys have since come to an agreement and decided the money will be placed into a trust overseen by a professional, which both parties are fine with.
Strangers have donated clothes, school supplies and money to help Barley, who hopes to go to medical school in the future.