Valory Music Company artist [lastfm]Jimmy Wayne[/lastfm] survived a turbulent, abusive childhood. He was shuttled to a series of foster homes. He was a homeless teen, living by his wits on the street until a North Carolina couple named Russell and Beatrice Costner took him in and gave him a family.
He began Project Meet Me Halfway to raise awareness of the fact that too many youth — especially those that are aging out of the foster care system — are facing circumstances similar to those he faced.
Meet Me Halfway kicked off January 1, 2010 with Jimmy beginning a walk halfway across America. Where is he today?
Before Russell and Bea, Jimmy was homeless and close to hopeless. He remembers the feeling of being without a family, without a home. He left the parking lot of Monroe Harding (a Nashville based foster care group home) early on New Year’s Day, with about 100 supporters walking the first few miles with him. With every step he takes, every mile he logs and every person he meets along the way, Jimmy is raising awareness of homeless children and teens, especially those who age out of the foster care system.
“Aging out” refers to what happens when youth reach a certain age (age 18 in most states) and are no longer eligible for support from the foster care system. Without foster care funding, many youth lose their place to live, health care coverage, connections to supportive adults, and are ill-prepared to support themselves in the adult world. Many youth end up like Jimmy — homeless on the streets. Read more here. . .
[lastfm]Jimmy Wayne[/lastfm] will end his walk halfway across America in Phoenix, AZ. In addition to being a halfway point, Phoenix is also where another organization Jimmy supports is located—HomeBase Youth Services. This organization also serves the needs of foster children, focusing on those who have aged out of the foster care system and find themselves homeless.
Follow [lastfm]Jimmy Wayne[/lastfm] on Twitter and keep up with his daily posts of an interesting trek from Nashville to Phoenix to raise awareness for Homeless Teens during his Meet Me Halfway campaign.
Sign on a billboard in Leonard, Michigan (near Romeo), courtesy of Amy Rathburg.