A skilled craftsman who has been formally educated in carpentry and created success for himself in the street food industry in California, Carlos had his identity stolen in the 90’s and hasn’t been able to get any form of identification since. While he did his best to hustle without ID and create abundance for himself through working as a carpenter under the table and owning his own taco stand, in the post 9/11 era when he relocated to Utah, it became increasingly difficult to find work without ID, and he became homeless about 7-8 years ago. His greatest dream is to have his own home.
"Honesty - don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat, and don’t put your hands on nobody.”
Carlos was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and abused by his father and his uncle. He immigrated with his family to California when he was 11 years old. Carlos is a skilled and licensed journeyman carpenter.
Carlos' identity was stolen 30 years ago, the person was caught, deported, came back, stole his Identity again, and died, but Carlos can't obtain his death certificate to prove and get his identity back, and has been working outside of Home Depot's as a day laborer since he moved to Utah, hoping to get his identity back so he can get retirement support.
At a recent nomad supply drive, Adam Fordham of the Salt Lake Valley Coalition to End Homelessness Digital Inclusion Initiative, who sets up a computer station at our drives to connect people to online aid, struggled to find the answers but the Nomad Alliance and he connected him to resources and are working with him as we speak to get through the quagmire of bureacracy so he can reclaim his identity and get off the streets.
For the last 30 years, he’s been forced to work under the table due to his lack of ID, which means fewer opportunities for advancement, less stability in the job, and no access to benefits he would have received when formally employed.
To combat these identity hurdles, Carlos participated in the informal economy running street food stands selling tacos and hot dogs while he lived in California.
Moving to Utah raised new challenges, as did stricter laws about identification documents in a post 9/11 world. Carlos became homeless 7-8 years ago and continues to work as a carpenter, forced to pick up under the table jobs outside hardware stores. With this work, in 2019, he saved $25,000 while on the streets and bought everything to set up a food truck business. He was set to relaunch his taco business until Covid shut everything down, and he once again lost everything; he is currently working as a carpenter under the table again, remodeling homes.
His greatest dream is to have his own home.
Carlos lives by a moral code of honesty, stating, “don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat, and don’t put your hands on nobody.”