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Living In Poverty In Sunny San Diego

Marketplace Money recently came to San Diego to explore what poverty looks like.

San Diego enjoys a popular image as home to beautiful beaches, good beer, ocean-view mansions and a world-famous panda.

But drive a few minutes inland from the coast, and you’ll find communities like City Heights, among the most diverse communities in the country –- home to immigrants and refugees from dozens of countries. It’s such a huge refugee resettlement hub that there’s a joke there: If you want to know what countries are currently engaging in war, take a walk through City Heights.


And the community is also one of San Diego’s poorest. It was where Marketplace spent lots of time talking to families about what it’s like to live in poverty within a stone’s throw of so much wealth: Losing jobs, coping with meager food budgets, getting around without a car in a car-dependent town.

The special report, which aired the weekend of Oct. 5, is full of important stories from San Diego, but familiar in low-income and minority cities across the Southwest and the nation.