Aleida Ramirez lost all her work at the start of the coronavirus shutdown. After using up her entire savings to keep her daughter and nephew sheltered, she missed rent for the first time in her life.
Story by Laurence Du Sault, Bay Area News Group
A special ongoing series tracking California’s vulnerable renters
2 million Californians are living with the stress that they could lose their homes. Most are temporarily protected by a moratorium on evictions, but they are behind on rent and debt is piling up. You’ll meet some of them in this story. They are single mothers with college educations; waitresses and drivers; young and old. The California Divide, a collaboration among five newsrooms exploring income inequality, will follow these Californians as their continued housing depends on jobs or assistance or government protections. The project was supported by a grant from the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships Program and BigLocalNews.org at Stanford University.
“They’re fighting about whatever they want the stimulus package to be, but they have no idea about us that are having to deal with this and go through this. They’re not thinking about the toll that it’s taking on all of us families.”
In many ways, distance learning is keeping Teresa Trabucco from making ends meet. The waitress can only work weekends when her son isn’t in class. She’s falling behind on rent and considering moving out of state.
Story by Orlando Mayorquin, CalMatters
Maya Brady and her girlfriend count themselves lucky to have received rent relief through the federal CARES Act. Now the pressure is on the recent graduate to get hired and stay on top of rent.
Story by Jackie Botts, CalMatters
Carolina Navarro lost work due to COVID-19 and has fallen behind on rent for a trailer she shares with her son and daughter. The single mother remains on a waiting list for undocumented immigrants in need of assistance.
Story by Manuela Tobias, The Fresno Bee
Alonso Ceceñas and his wife have not been able to pay rent during the pandemic. They share a one-bedroom apartment with their four children.
Story by Araceli Martinez Ortega, La Opinión
Our reporting follows California renters who were getting by before the pandemic and now struggle to stay sheltered. California Divide, a news collaboration of CalMatters, The Fresno Bee, The Salinas Californian, La Opinión and the San Jose Mercury News, will periodically check on the people in this project. But our readers play an important role too by helping us capture the experiences of renters throughout the state. So if you have a story to share, we invite you to fill out our questionnaire. Our team of dedicated reporters will follow up.