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Representatives from vet center thank contributors
flowers and laughs
Mimi Johnson gives roses to Charli Shearer during a ceremony Friday. Johnson said Shearer was her inspiration for creating Hinesville’s first displaced veteran’s shelter. - photo by Photo by Lauren Hunsberger
Full of excitement and appreciation, Mimi Johnson, with the Hinesville Department of Labor, thanked many people who collaborated to create the city’s first displaced veteran’s shelter.
Johnson spoke Friday during a ceremony to thank and recognize all the people and businesses who made the shelter possible. She said many months ago, as she was seeking help for a displaced veteran who was a client of hers, she ran into several deadends while searching for resources.
“I had been so accustomed to hearing ‘no,’ ” she said.
That was until she found Dr. Alicia Kirk, with the Kirk Healing Center, and a few other community members willing to help find a solution for displaced veterans like Johnson’s client.
The need for resources was the inspiration behind the shelter, which is now open to help struggling veterans. Representatives from the DOL, the Kirk Healing Center and Veterans Support Organization attended Friday’s ceremony.
Johnson’s excitement was hard to contain. “If I could back flip right now, I would,” she said.
Another important guest  made an appearance at the ceremony: Charli Shearer, the client who sparked the effort months ago. She, once homeless and jobless, is now fully employed and owns her own home.
Choking back tears, she too thanked all the people who helped her and who will be helping many people like her in the future.
“The biggest joy is when someone graduates,” said Kirk, which is what she calls it when someone succeeds thanks to the program. “That’s what our goal is, for them to become an independent, productive citizen. It’s wonderful to see.”
Veterans seeking help can go to for more information.
“Veterans are our number one priority,” Kirk said.
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