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Jimmy is starting the journey on Jan. 1 from the Monroe Harding home in Nashville, which provides services for at-risk young adults and children. Jimmy’s intention is not only to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless, but also raise funds for organizations that benefit homeless youth, including HomeBase Youth Services, a Phoenix-based organization that provides essentials for homeless young adults.
He plans to walk 25 miles a day until reaching his destination in Phoenix, which he figures will take around two months. As most fans know, Jimmy spent a good part of his youth in and out of foster homes and was homeless for a time. He was given a second chance when Bea and Russell Costner gave him a home and fresh start when he was only 16 years old. He has never forgotten the generosity of the couple, who were in their 70's when they took Jimmy into their home.
Jimmy took some time to speak with Country Weekly about this ambitious project. He explained that many young adults are left homeless after they “age out” of the foster care or juvenile justice systems at age 18. They simply do not have the necessary life skills to live independently, and as a result, end up homeless and on the streets.
“There are just no resources,” Jimmy says. “That’s the problem. I’m very thankful for facilities like Monroe Harding and HomeBase, who are helping kids achieve some independence and give them some life skills. These kids need some way of getting on their feet. If they don’t, they are going to become homeless again or end up in jail.” Jimmy adds that he hopes that this walk will raise more national awareness of the issue.
“The more people we can get involved, the better,” he says. “We are asking people to donate just a little bit. It doesn’t take much.” Jimmy’s website, jimmywayne.com , will provide a link with information on how fans can donate to the cause. “My hope is that we can get people more involved, whether it’s giving to Monroe Harding or HomeBase or even offering somebody a home, just like that family did for me,” Jimmy says. “There is a lot that we can do.”