Chippewa Falls (WQOW) - A 53-year-old man from Virginia has made it his mission to walk the perimeter of the United States of America, and Thursday he found himself in Chippewa Falls.
Leroy Bailey has a passion for the homeless, and made it his mission to raise money to build as many homeless shelters as he can. He says his faith in God was what called him to endure such a journey.
He started in Virginia Beach on June 30, 2014. So far, he's traveled more than 7,000 miles making his way through numerous states, including Texas, California, Montana and now Wisconsin.
Bailey told News 18 he tries to walk about 25 miles each day, which is about the length of a marathon. And his journey has not been easy. He said he sprained his ankle in Louisiana, was diagnosed with stress fractures in his left foot in New Mexico, he had his backpack stolen in San Francisco, and he lost his wallet in Seattle.
So, why does Bailey press on? He said he believes America's homeless population needs more help. "It is so much easier to open a shelter for animals in this country than it is to open a shelter for human beings," he said. "My heart goes out to the vets first. The disabled people who are in wheelchairs and stuff who are homeless. People with children you know. Nobody should ever be homeless in a country like this, nobody."
Bailey, himself, is not homeless. He left his home and his wife of 21 years behind to start his journey. He said he grew out his beard to represent homelessness. His church in Virginia gives him approximately $60 a week. Anyone interested in donating to the mission of creating more homeless shelters should donate to Servants of God Ministries, and a gofundme page in his name also helps to support his daily needs.
Bailey concluded his interview with News 18 by saying he's been through seven pairs of walking shoes.