Our first stop in Warner Robins took us across town to the home of Deidre and her 12-year-old daughter. Her adorable and very expressive two-year-old granddaughter was also there to greet us and thoroughly investigate every piece of equipment we brought in the apartment.  

Deidre was nervous, as many people are when a big camera and lights get pointed at them. But it didn’t take long for her to settle in and begin to open up about her past struggles with homelessness as a single mother.  

With that, the tears also began to flow. I tried to look as closely as I could at each tear so that it burned into my memory. Every tear is like a piece of the most precious currency to me. It’s one of the most valuable things a person can give me because it’s a part of their soul. Every tear is a piece of their humanity with which they are trusting me. I don’t ever want to forget a single one of them.  

Me: “What got you through those hard times?”
Deidre: “We did a lot of praying.”

At the end of the interview, we began to get video of the family going about their normal lives in what Deidre referred to as her “one-room mansion.” She and her daughter had to share a room because this one-bedroom apartment was their only option to escape the streets. She said although she dreamed of her daughter one day having her own room, they are doing okay for now.

“When your kids ask you for juice or something to eat, and you can’t give it to them, that hurts your heart. But now, when they ask for juice, I say, ‘Go to the fridge and get it.’ “

From there, we went to the Genesis JOY House site, which is still under a lot of construction. Genesis JOY House will mainly be a place to house homeless female veterans and help them find permanent housing and employment. But the organization also works with homeless non-veterans as well, both male and female.

Here we interviewed the mayor of Warner Robins, Randy Toms, about the homelessness across this community.

“I grew up here, but I had no idea there was a problem until I became mayor, and someone actually sat me down and showed me.”

After a little break for the afternoon, we were back at it to get some sunset shots. It’s a favorite of ours because there is so much beauty in the conclusion of each day, no matter where we are. Warner Robins is home to Robins Air Force Base, so that military heritage is celebrated all across town.  

Here at city hall, there is a memorial to those who fought and died with each branch of the U.S. armed forces. It’s a somber reminder of what it costs for me to get to do what I love doing every day.