“There are survivors of domestic violence who have done what the system tells you to do, which is get a protective order, and they’re supposed to be safe during that. The law tells people that they cannot access guns and that they have to relinquish those—but we’re not actually supporting that law.”
Author: Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil
“The vast majority of homeless people, what we see in every study—especially here, more than anywhere else—are low-income workers, people who have jobs who don’t make enough to meet the cost of housing,” said Brooke Weitzman, an attorney with the Santa Ana-based Elder Law and Disability Rights Center.
In addition to finding housing, homeless families must also find accommodations that keep the family intact, which in many parts of the state leaves them with few—if any—options.
In the face of escalating anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies since the 2016 election, immigrant rights groups across the state have been developing innovative strategies, such as cell-phone warning systems and know-your-rights workshops to protect their own communities from federal immigration authorities—a move organizers say can not only prevent deportations and detentions, but also combat the fear encompassing immigrant communities today.
Beginning in 2008, as the nation was in the throes of the economic recession, California’s top leaders made a series of cuts to safety-net programs that sent many low-income residents in a downward spiral toward homelessness. While California’s economy has largely recovered since then, and the state’s food stamps and health programs have mostly been restored, the state’s welfare program has yet to see a reinvestment to pre-recession levels.
Kimberly Sandoval holds a ticket in her hand in disbelief. Her infraction: being in possession of spare bicycle parts at Santa Ana’s Civic Center, a homeless encampment of an estimated 200 people in the heart of Orange County.
Asian Americans are the least likely racial and ethnic group to seek out mental health services in the United States. Just 4.9 percent of Asian American adults seek out mental health services. “Some of the mental health terminology isn’t even in our languages, so it’s hard to talk about these issues.”
Many California teens who come from low-income and immigrant families have a difficult time getting a full night’s rest because of their obligations outside school. A new bill headed to the California Assembly could allow these students and more than 2.7 million others statewide to get more rest every night by requiring all public middle and high schools in California to start no earlier than 8:30 a.m.
Every Saturday afternoon, Aimee Dunkle stands behind Santa Ana’s City Hall with a framed picture of her son, Ben, as she hands out brown paper bags filled with kits of the opioid overdose-blocking drug Naloxone—a medication she says will save the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of Orange County residents.