J.D. says he’s from a broken family and that he’s never recovered from facing his father’s death without the support of his relatives.
“That's the reason why a lot of people are homeless because there's broken families, they're fighting each other, brothers and sisters are fighting each other,” he said. “Wives and husbands are fighting with each other. That's what's going on right now in life. That's the reason I'm homeless because my family is dysfunctional…. broken….”
He tried to rebound with odd jobs for older people, raking leaves, helping with yard work, but he says he has had fewer and fewer opportunities.
“Like if somebody needs help, I do it for free, but sometimes they give me something, a little pocket change and I take it because I do need it but I don't ask or beg for it. They just give it to me out of their own heart.”
Avoiding the Shelter’s Drama
Like others who have lived on the streets for a while he now avoids the shelter.
“I used to stay at the shelter the first time but when, my sleeping bag was stolen, I didn’t want to stay there anymore because somebody stole from me in the shelter. Then we would have like a long line, for feeding, people would cut in line and that's not fair for people who are waiting for one hour, if you know what I mean. And then people would just get angry and fight just, just for staying in line to eat. There’s just too much drama.”
He says people think people like him are lazy but he disagrees. He says he tries his best to fit in Reno and his family, but it hasn’t worked out for him.
“I just hope that things will be better for all of us. And one day we will, we will be all happy, one family and no more racism, no more discrimination. It doesn't matter what religion you are, what color you are. We're all human beings. I think everybody should welcome everybody. That’s what I think. There's no harm. Nobody wants to hurt you. I feel like I'm living in the wild, wild, west right now because I'm homeless.”