Chelsea, 18, Chris, 32, and Billy, 17, hang out at Chris’ home. Chris lives in his mother’s shed. Chelsea began using drugs after a miscarriage when she was 16. She was in jail for drug possession, and and must now wear a drug patch. Her father died from a heroin and meth overdose when she was 9, an event that remains painful to her today.
Billy, 18, Chris, 32, Nate, 16, and Chelsea, 18, have been through juvenile correction and jail at least once for drug possession, theft, grand theft auto, and in rehab.
Billy looks on as Chris, left, and Chelsea clean out the shed. Billy suffers from depression, bipolar disorder and has been both in jail and rehab. He dropped out of school and earned his GED, and hopes to become a nurse in Eldon.
Dodge, 13, and Shawn, 20, hang out at McDonald’s, where much of the town’s youth spend time after school or late at night. Shawn currently lives in a tent in a friend’s lawn, and hopes to rent an apartment next month.
Nate and Billy hang out at McDonald's. Nate's teenage sister is currently on the run from the police, since she consumed drugs wearing a drug patch, the only thing preventing her from going back to juvenile correction.
Chris dumpster dives looking for metal scraps and useful items. Currently unemployed, he manages to make some income from scrapping, which would make him roughly $23 a day. “I don’t go stealing like some of these kids. If I have to go without eating for a few days, I will.”
Chris pushes a discarded stove oven into his mother's car, found next to the dumpster of an apartment complex. “Copper and electronics, that’s where the money’s at.”
Billy kicks the door of an abandoned house next to Chris’ home. These houses are often used by addicts as shelter to get high in.
Chris dusts the seats of his mother’s van. Also a meth addict herself, they have a tight bond.
After being sober for 89 days, Chris relapsed in October. Having passed through jail and rehab more than once, he plans to seek treatment. He would eventually like to leave Eldon, feeling that the town has nothing to offer him other than bad experiences.
Chris, Billy and Nate hang out at Chris’ home. With a poverty rate of 79% for kids under 18, Eldon has one of the highest compared to the national average of 19%. “We live day by day,” said Billy. They often make money by stealing.
Chris left his abusive husband in Houston and moved back to Eldon in 2017. Diagnosed with testicular and colon cancer, he choses not to treat it and instead focus on taking care of his mother, who also suffers from cancer and meth addiction. “I’ve already told my friends that I plan on committing suicide at her funeral.”