Will and Hailey "My Rock"

Photo by  Randy Bacon

Photo by Randy Bacon

[Will] I’m from Detroit, Michigan, originally. I have a dual citizenship, I was born in Ireland. My family all moved here, cause there was more jobs here. I’ve been out here on the streets since I was sixteen, I’m twenty-eight years old now. There’s a lot of things I’ve been through. I’ve been in some trouble, but who hasn’t? I feel like we’re all misfits in our own special little way.

[Hailey] For three years I was with my original family, then at three years old, I was adopted to a family. I been in and out of foster care since I was eleven. Will has seen me definitely go through a lot, he’s been a big part of my life, and last year, I gave birth to a beautiful little boy. While Will was in jail, I was on my way back here, three days after my twenty-first birthday, I had a little boy that was about to be a year old, and Will was in jail most of my labor. I was on my way back to Springfield three days after my birthday, like I said, and now our son is adopted out. He looks just like his father which scares me, every day.

Photo by  Randy Bacon . Portrait featured in “The Road I Call Home” at Springfield Art Museum Exhibition September 14, 2019-February 23, 2020

Photo by Randy Bacon. Portrait featured in “The Road I Call Home” at Springfield Art Museum Exhibition September 14, 2019-February 23, 2020

How we met was my family actually. We both have family members in mutual organizations, like hells angels. Bikers in general, Military, family, bikers family. So I grew up around him from childhood, so every time I visited back home, I saw will. At one point, I ran off for a bit to Billings, Montana to get away from everyone.

How I ended up homeless was kind of funny actually. At the time, I was still in foster care and I found out that I was pregnant; I was seventeen. I ended up getting tired of everything, so I ended up leaving my job at McDonald’s and quit going to school at OTC, and went to the streets, where I re-kindled some love that over the years I had forgotten about. It’s been hard, definitely, but Will...he’s always been my rock, he’s been there for me since I was fourteen.

[Will] Me and my mom never got along, ‘cause there’s things about me my mom doesn’t understand. I’ve traveled around, I’ve been out here for a while, Fourteen years on the streets now. I did get off the streets for a while, cause I did have a job. Last year I almost killed myself and ended up in jail.

Photo by  Randy Bacon

Photo by Randy Bacon

[Hailey] When I was pregnant and in Montana, Will was in jail; I made the hardest phone call, and I broke up with him. I was scared and he wasn’t around anymore. Then recently, when I moved back here, I ran into him right as he got out of jail and we got back together. I also went through a miscarriage shortly after that, i didn’t tell Will for five days because I didn’t know how to tell him. When my son was seven months old, I signed the adoption papers, Will wasn’t there and I didnt know what to do. I didn’t know that our rights basically were terminated so we don’t get to see him at all...that tore both of us apart.

[Hailey] What’s been the hardest part about being homeless for me was living on the streets pregnant.

[Will] The hardest part for me is just day-to-day living, never knowing what to expect out of a day. People don’t realize that being out here and having so little, can actually be more, greater than what a lot of people have. People look at us like we’re vermin, taking up space, taking up air.

[Hailey] My advice is that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, for everyone. Including the people on the streets.

[Will] Know that there are people out there that have a good heart. There’s still hope.

[Hailey] My dream is to be a photographer and capture the things people miss, the smallest beauties. There’s certain things people don’t see.

[Will] I want to be a tattoo artist.

The Road I Call Home Exhibition, Springfield Art Museum

September 14, 2019 - February 23, 2020

Please join us at the opening reception for our exhibit at the Springfield Art Museum "The Road I Call Home," portraits and stories of homeless individuals living in Springfield. This exhibit presents 46 brand new pieces art by award winning photographer, Randy Bacon and are accompanied by a narrative, as told by the subject, sharing their personal story of homelessness.

The Road I Call Home's mission is to build a new awareness about our relationship to homelessness and to each other - to give a voice to the voiceless and begin a conversation that will be a powerful inspiration for people to get involved with efforts to help the homeless and alleviating the problem within communities across the nation.

DONATE TODAY to be an important and necessary moving part of capturing the true lives of our friends on the streets, in all parts of the world, by donating. Every penny helps us continue to chronicle more stories and portraits and fund the framing and printing for the physical exhibit to expand and touch more lives.