When we met him, California native and Reno resident Albert, 33, was frantically looking for $32 to pay his bus fare to Truckee to get proof of ID, so that he could start working at the Marketon supermarket on Wells Ave. in Reno, where he had just been promised a job, after weeks of looking for steady employment, and being homeless with his family.
Looking for His ID
Albert had just lost his ID creating yet another problem, in his quest to get his new family a place to call home and a happy, steady life.
Albert’s daughter was born in December, just one week after he was released from his latest stint in prison, for public intoxication. His wife and baby were living at the homeless family shelter on Record street, while he lived at a friend’s place, getting jobs through craigslist or from day labor pickup spots around town.
Using Different Charity Services
Albert would meet his family at the bus stop, and then use different services, such as the food pantry or resource center to get help.
“It’s pretty frustrating to me as a man. I look at myself in the mirror sometimes and ask myself, ‘how do you consider yourself a man? and a father? when your wife and daughter are in the shelter?' and it hurts me a lot.”
On this day we met them, Albert balanced a carton of food on one shoulder and rolled a can filled carry-on, while his wife pushed a food-filled stroller back to the family shelter, their baby bundled inside layers of heavy blankets.
“I wasn’t raised to be going to food banks and shelter and stuff like that,” Albert said. “It gets me depressed and it makes me want to just give up but then I think back to what my Dad taught me. No matter how hard life gets for you, when you have your own family yourself, then there’s nowhere in hell you can give up, not on them.”
“There was a time recently, where I was like if I don’t get a job, I’m just going to go back to selling drugs, doing stupid stuff like that, to make quick and easy money, which I told my wife about. She was like ‘you’re not allowed to do that anymore, now we have a daughter that we have to think about, so all that stuff you used to do for money, you’re not going to be doing that anymore.’ I said, ‘that’s fine with me’, and a couple of days later which is today my wife got the call from the guy at Marketon (who said) you need to have Albert call. I decided to show up instead (over there) and that’s what got me the job today.”
Staying Sober and Wanting to Pay it Forward
Albert says he’s done with getting drunk, and that he’s done with breaking the law, and that when he gets back on his own feet, he hopes to help someone else in a difficult situation. “You have to pay it forward,” he said, before bringing back his newly obtained daughter’s child seat to the family shelter, and looking for the $32 he so desperately needed to get his life back on track.