Life as a homeless person is difficult, and not many people would know this better than Tracy Gebeaux. Gebeaux is the founder of Jax Beach Brother’s Keeper, which is essentially him, his Facebook page and a few cameras documenting himself giving food and clothes to the homeless.
Rewind to several years ago, and Gebeaux himself was actually homeless. “I went from making over $100,000 a year to the economy crashing,” Gebeaux said. “Within two years, I lost everything.”
Now, Gebeaux has a steady job as a builder, and he’s doing just fine. In fact, he’s a Jaguars season ticket holder. But Gebeaux hasn’t forgotten his past.
Since Gebeaux feels such a close connection to the homeless population in Jax Beach, he wants to provide for them. Every Sunday (except when the Jags are playing, in which case he goes on Saturdays) he drives his SUV around Jax Beach and hands out whatever the homeless need.
Gebeaux receives donations from people and that’s how he gets the stuff he gives away. The homeless have come to know Gebeaux because they see him regularly. Some of them even wait around to see him on Sundays. One of those people is Aaron Gibson.
Gibson is homeless, but luckily, he recently got a job. Despite that, day-to-day life is still tough for him and that’s why he appreciates Gebeaux’s generosity so much. “That’s compassion,” Gibson said. “That’s love because he’s obviously been there before.”
Gebeaux is looked at by many in the Jax Beach community as a hero. But he doesn’t see himself that way. “The feeling that I have in my heart is not a feeling of being a hero,” he said. “The feeling that I have in my heart when I’m doing it is the feeling of being a human.”
To find out more about Gebeaux and his organization, you can check out his page on Facebook.