In 1950s Pittsburgh, Troy Maxson lives with his wife Rose and their son Cory, and works as a garbage collector alongside his best friend, Jim Bono. Troy's younger brother, Gabriel, sustained a head injury in World War II that left him mentally impaired, for which he received a $3,000 government payout that Troy subsequently uses as a down payment on a home for his family. Gabriel has since moved out to live across the street at "Miss Pearl's" house, so Troy no longer gets rent money from Gabe, which places the family under financial strain. Gabe sometimes gets in trouble with the law for his erratic behavior. Rose suggests to Troy that Gabe might be better off residing in a hospital.