Since the 1980s, there’s been a steep overall rise in both incarceration and homelessness across the United States. Studies show that those who leave jails and prison face an increased risk for homelessness, while those experiencing homelessness are more vulnerable to incarceration.
A Revolving Clanging Door
Every year, more than 600,000 people exit the criminal justice system.
Some return to their communities, but many are thrown into homelessness. The significant proportion of those who were homeless before they were incarcerated often return to shelters, abandoned building and illegal campgrounds.
Proud of his Kids
Victor says his kids were born in the United States and have their own kids now, making him a proud grandfather and father.
“They are big kids, some are working and some are going to school. I see them everyday. Six of my kids live in this area, in Reno. They are like friends. They know that I was a drug addict and alcoholic and they support me.”
A Growing Homeless Population
Victor says he believes the homeless population in Reno has grown over the years.
“Twenty years ago, there was like 20 homeless people. Now the number (just gets) bigger, (there are) more crimes, more drugs, more (of) everything.
He says he's available to work, with good boots and gloves, and that he often does odd jobs. He says he's also thinking of returning to Mexico, but that for now he lives moment by moment on the streets of Reno, trying to avoid being incarcerated yet again.