Gordon Wayne to walk 500 miles from Virginia to Georgia to advocate for homeless

Published: Jul. 17, 2023 at 5:48 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - 22-year-old Gordon Wayne is on his second journey to end homelessness, one step at a time.

Monday, Wayne made his way through Danville on his 19-day, 500-mile walk from Caroline County, Virginia to the University of Georgia.

“I just want people to realize that this is an important issue,” said Wayne, advocate for the homeless. “If we all care about it, show empathy for those who are experiencing homelessness, and realize that they still have potential and something to contribute to this world and to each other, then that will accomplish my mission.”

At 18 years old, Wayne was homeless for 14 months after his family split up and went their separate ways.

“I only had $6 in my bank account for an entire month. So, I was really scavenging and doing whatever I could to get by. I was starving. I had insomnia. It was by far the worst time of my life. Then, I realized I needed to continue my education to have any hope of getting out of that situation,” added Wayne.

In 2020, Wayne walked from his hometown of Caroline County to Boston College after receiving a full ride scholarship.

“I was so overjoyed because it meant I would finally have a stable dorm to sleep in and healthy food to eat. While I felt so overjoyed, on the other hand, I felt terrible knowing that there would be so many people who would still be experiencing the same issues that I was finally going to be escaping.”

His walk raised $180,000 for the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

Wayne is now walking to the University of Georgia, where he will attend law school in August on another full ride scholarship. He hopes legal studies will help him understand and fix the systemic flaws that make homelessness possible.

“I love raising awareness this way, but to be truthful, it’s not a very practical impact. So, my goal for my career is to work towards ending homelessness, understand what’s wrong with the system, and search for solutions. That’s what I’m most excited for. That’s why I can’t wait to get to Georgia and meaningfully change people’s lives,” explained Wayne.

To support Wayne’s cause and the National Alliance to End Homelessness, visit his Go Fund Me page.

He will also be posting videos of his journey on the National Alliance to End Homelessness YouTube page.