Hernandez didn't know his father until he was 9 years old, and had only a brief relationship with him. Hernandez's mother told him he was dead, according to Hernandez's father. Hernandez's father said in an interview on December 22, 2019, that one of the main reasons he lost contact with his son and family was because Hernandez's stepfather would rip up the letters he sent to him that he was supposed to give to his wife and kids. Hernandez's father was a heroin addict and was in prison for five years for selling drugs. Hernandez's stepfather was shot dead steps away from the family home in 2010. After the murder of his stepfather, Hernandez's mother wasn't able to make enough money working to support her children. She applied for welfare, and there were many nights Hernandez and his brother went to bed without dinner. Due to his mother's financial struggle, Hernandez and his brother wore used clothes and Hernandez had to share a bed with his mother. Emotionally disturbed by the death of his stepfather, Hernandez would not shower or eat to the point where he lost a lot of weight, he was given therapy and was hospitalized for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Hernandez also started to act out due to his stepfather's death and was eventually expelled from school in the 8th grade for bad behavior. Rather than continuing his education, he started working at various jobs such as being a busboy and a delivery boy at a grocery store to help his mother financially.