Jose: Point Morris, Bronx

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    Jose and his younger sister were raised in Puerto Rico by their mother. When he was eighteen a neighbor sexually assaulted his seven-year old sister. As the oldest and only male in the family, he says, he had no choice. 'I went to jail. Attempted murder. I did fourteen years.' In jail he got 'with a bad crowd, started using junk.' His mother passed. With no family left in Puerto Rico, he came to the states.

    Homeless, he now lives under the Bruckner Expressway, collecting cans and scrap metal for money. When I asked how he wanted to be described he said 'I got nothing. I don't like this. I don't like being dirty, collecting junk. There is nothing good. Nothing good. Nothing.'

    More on Addiction: Faces of Addiction

    Costa Gavras, Veee Man, thought107, and 26 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. Costa Gavras 39 months ago | reply

      sad story - take away the trolley you wouldnt know he was homeless

    2. cgullz 39 months ago | reply

      a handsome man, a heart wrenching story, a great capture.
      i do have to wonder why people stay in large cities when things are so tough. i guess it is easy to 'hide' in, to become un-noticeable. it is a shame, gosh there really needs to be more caring for people doesn't there.

    3. cgullz 39 months ago | reply

      snkk .. understatement of the year!

    4. ROCIO Ysapy 39 months ago | reply

      He is right to say "Nothing", starting with lack of opportunities in his home country, then a shame of the justice system and the conditions in jail. This happens a lot everywhere, because these people have no voices, they are considered useless a waste, and then they get really forgotten, ignored by policies, even of richer countries.

    5. Ubere 39 months ago | reply

      Quelle tragédie. Et nous, qui n'arrêtons pas de nous plaindre sans cesse.
      Nous devrions avoir honte.

    6. christine@planeteventsdirect 39 months ago | reply

      Woah.......this story has really spun my head around......i am lost for words on this ocasion.
      He looks so young too....makes you so grateful for what you have, no matter how little that may be. A small amount is still better than nothing.

    7. proof_by_contradiction 39 months ago | reply

      Wow...this is another truly great picture and story...

    8. Guido de Kleijn 39 months ago | reply

      What a sad story, but still a smile on his face, hope someday it will be better for him. Nice shot by the way, love the soft background and the sharpness of the portrait.

    9. AdamJSmithology 37 months ago | reply

      I agree--sad story. The guy's got a valid point, too. More or less, he's fighting against people like who assaulted his sister. I wish him well...

    10. PamelaPul 36 months ago | reply

      He is wrong that nothing is good. He is good. Bad choice but still. . . don't we all make bad choices? He is still paying for his crime. And yet, with all the bad in his life, he still smiles.

    11. debeallison 35 months ago | reply

      I've book marked your site and am always checking for up dates. You really have soul and compassion to capture these people the way you do. Great work.

    12. Kim 'n Isabellyjelly 34 months ago | reply

      I wonder, do you ever print out the responses that people share here to your pictures - nay, life stories - of these people, to show them how affected we can be, how much we can care for them, even if it's a passing thought and a moment of sending positive energy to a man whose life I can never touch? Makes you wonder if knowing that there are people out here who think he is WAY more than nothing, that he CAN HAVE more than nothing, even though it seems hopeless on that day? Who knows what tomorrow can bring? Seeing his face makes me want to reach out to him and even though I can't, I'm certainly going to remember his face when I see someone in my own city who may affect me in the same way and will reach out to help. Maybe it could give Jose a glimmer of hope to know that just seeing his face and hearing his story caused a more postive day for the person I'll connect with...

    13. Chris Arnade 34 months ago | reply

      I do try to go back and share peoples comments I receive, both here and from emails I get. It is a wonderful feeling to see the smiles and tears I get when they read them.

      Often finding folks is hard, some are now in jail, some move on, others in rehab. Jose is someone I have not located since this picture. He was living under an expressway in a makeshift shelter that a few weeks later sanitation cleared away.

    14. ohilovetrash 19 months ago | reply

      i know this is really late, but a lot of the reason they stay is cos they cant leave their dealer[s]. i am not saying this to be mean; instead, i am speaking from the heart & as close to the insideas one can get w/o having personally fallen, & fallen, & fallen, & fallen

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