Leroy Bailey left the Oceanfront on June 30, 2014, with one goal: walk the perimeter of the continental United States and raise money to build homeless shelters across the country.
On Saturday – more than 11,500 miles and 29 months later – Bailey walked across the Lesner Bridge, down Shore Drive and along Pacific Avenue, inching closer to his finish line at 15th Street.
He originally planned on finishing in 18 months, but the trek took 11 more than that. In all, Bailey has raised between $9,000 and $10,000 he said will go toward building a shelter – which he calls a “hope center” – in Virginia Beach someday.
Bailey experienced homelessness as a teenager, when he left his foster home in upstate New York. For several years before his country-circling walk, Bailey volunteered at PIN Ministry, an Oceanfront nonprofit that serves the homeless.