Within our busy lifestyles, it is quite simple to lose track of the values we take for granted on a daily basis.
It is important to be informative about the environments outside of our own lives and to understand that a large percentage of poverty and suffering is not only in third-world countries or larger cities, but within our hometown as well.
Out of sight, out of mind, hidden beneath our roads and isolated on the outskirts of the city, derive communities of people who are honest living citizens trying to find a means of survival during tough circumstances.
These are the streets of Stockton society persists to ignore.
Some people live on the streets by choice; many are forced to be there, in which the majority of them are parolees who are kicked out onto these streets and have to fend for themselves.
The tent cities found on the outskirts of Stockton consist of many parolees who have joined together to build a family-like community that watches over one another.
Tents found in the inner cities, on the other hand, are dangerous lands where each individual on the street must truly fight for survival.
I place myself in these unusual places in order to visually document a world not known to many people, and give insight on places that most people would not attempt to see.
Thirty-Two year old “Kruz” is my narrator in my photos, displaying the meaning of “getting by,” and following his passion as an artist, while surviving the mean streets of Stockton.
While full information on Kruz’s background must be withheld, it is simply inspiring to witness the difficult times of a man living in a tent amongst strangers in dangerous, dark surroundings, to inhabiting a mobile home in a trailer park (in which, ironically, is the only mobile home amongst all of the trailer homes), while he continues to express himself artistically as a painter, and as a full-time student at San Joaquin Delta College.
As long as he has a “roof” over his head to keep him dry, his art supplies, and his education, that’s all he needs to enjoy the little things in life.