Ron Burris, 38, picks up his brother-in-law Johnathon Sparks, 33, at 5:45 a.m. for a labor gig that needs an extra pair of hands, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Eldon, Mo.
Leaving for a job with his brother-in-law Ron Burris, Johnathon Sparks lights a cigarette on Monday morning, Sept. 25, 2017. Ron has asked his boss to hire Johnathon, and he hopes the gig will become a full-time position.
As Johnathon Sparks, left, and his half-black stepson Treyvin Burris, 15, right, watch, Johnathon’s brother-in-law Ron Burris, second from right, work on a secondhand axle for his nephew Davin Burris’ truck on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. Davin took a loan from his grandmother to buy a truck without axles, and then spent his savings on these heavily corroded parts, hoping to refurbish them.
Treyvin Burris, a center for the Eldon High School Mustangs varsity football team, rolls a team drinker back to the locker room after football practice on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. He says “I get nominated [for the duty] because I’m a freshman.”
Davin Burris, 17, sits in front of his family’s home, with the secondhand axles he bought behind him, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, in Eldon, Mo. Pessimistic about the condition of the axles, he says “I should have looked at them before I paid for them.”
Johnathon Sparks and his stepson Davin Burris chat in the kitchen in their home on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, in Eldon, Mo. Johnathon, having just arrived from work, boils sixteen hotdogs to eat for his dinner.
Davin Burris, center, shows an image on his cell phone to his half-sister Jade Howk, 10, and his mother’s fiancé Johnathon Sparks, while his mother Amanda Howk, 35, helps his half-brother Treyvin Burris with his algebra homework on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017.
Johnathon gets ready to serve a casserole, while his stepsons Davin Burris, left, and Treyvin Burris stand behind him on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. Johnathon’s temporary job was converted to full-time and he is very happy.
Amanda Howk, a licensed practical nurse at a nursing home, checks her fiancé Johnathon’s injured finger before she leaves for her shift starting at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. Amanda says “[Johnathon] is always there for the family through thick and thin. He is a protector. … A good support group keeping him busy in life, and reminding him of everything that he’s been through during his addiction can help him stay clean.”
Johnathon Sparks smiles as his stepdaughter Jade Howk drapes her hair over his head on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in their Eldon home.
Amanda Howk gets ready to leave for her night shift as a nurse on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. “The addiction has cost [Johnathon] a lot of things, many friends. It’s put wedges between him and his girls. It’s put wedges between the things that he’s wanted to do in life.”
Johnathon Sparks takes a nap after work on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, in Eldon, Mo.