Man walking the perimeter of the U.S. stops in Grand Rapids

Posted at 6:31 PM, May 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-16 18:31:57-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Leroy Bailey has burned through eight pairs of shoes while walking over 8,000 miles around the perimeter of the United States.

Traveling clockwise, he started his trip in his hometown of Virginia Beach almost two years ago and has walked through Florida, Texas, California, Washington, Wisconsin and now Grand Rapids, Michigan. He plans to be back in Virginia by October.

Leroy is a husband and a father who owns his own home remodeling business in Virginia. He didn't always lead a typical American life though. 30 years ago, he spent two years homeless on the streets of Buffalo, New York.

He told FOX 17 he was an alcoholic and that he used community outreach programs to get his life back on track. Programs that Leroy says are few and far between nowadays, especially for homeless veterans. He hopes to raise money to build volunteer-run homeless shelters.

“My main concern is homeless vets. They come first. Nobody who served this country should be homeless. Then we have to start looking at the mentally ill,” LeRoy says.