Jimmy Wayne to Make 1700 Mile Hike for Homeless
Jimmy Wayne will walk halfway across America -- from Nashville to Phoenix, Ariz. -- to help raise awareness, and hopefully funds, for homeless teens and organizations that help those teens. He'll kick off his almost two-month trek on foot -- officially titled Meet Me Halfway -- on Jan. 1 from Nashville's Monroe Harding, a facility helping troubled and at-risk youth.
Jimmy, who as a child was in and out of foster homes and was often homeless sleeping in shelters, abandoned warehouses and trailers, decided to make this nearly 1700-mile journey about a month ago after meeting an 18-year-old boy who was about to leave a teen facility and had nowhere to go. "I've got to do something," Jimmy laments. "The time is right. There's not much going on, perfect timing, the beginning of the year ... and I want to do something like that, because I felt like that was gonna be a statement, not just doing a free show. Not just putting the word out there. I've done that enough. I want to do something grand, like walking across the United States is a big statement."
The North Carolina native told us the hardest part about being homeless, for him, was being hungry, and that's one thing he's a bit worried about as he prepares to embark on the trek. "Man, when you're hungry, there's no feeling like that," explains Jimmy. "It drains your energy. Everything about you changes when you're hungry. Even now, if I get hungry, I get ill. So, that's probably the most of my worries -- the nutritional part about this hike ... But the other stuff I can take care of, I'll be fine. I'm just simulating being homeless. I'm not gonna kill myself, if you will."
Jimmy plans on sleeping outside for the most part and bathing when necessary. While he is showing the plight of homeless youth, he will not be without one or two comforts. He's being sponsored by Marmot, who will supply his clothing and hiking attire and gear. One of their clothing items tout "Warmth without the weight," which will be good since the 'Sara Smile' singer will be carrying a backpack filled with supplies, including a sleeping bag. He also will have his cell phone with him, so he will be able to chat or even post photos on his Twitter page.
Jimmy does have a few concert obligations to fulfill contractually during this two-month period. Jimmy explains he'll walk to the nearest airport, pick up his ticket and fly to his show. Once he's finished with his appearance, he'll fly right back to the town he left and continue on his way.
You can follow Jimmy's journey as he makes his way to Phoenix on his Twitter page, and he's hoping to have a website dedicated to the Meet Me Halfway campaign, which will follow his progress, including locations, as well as feature his thoughts about his adventure and links to organizations that need help. He's been writing in journals since he was a kid and says, "I just want to take in the experience. I want to write about it."