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California Dream

Traffic sign of CA interstate 1 highway.

You became a Californian because someone in your family believed in a dream. A strong public education. The promise of a job. The weather. (Ahhh, the weather.) In its long history, the California Dream has meant different things to different people. Today, the state’s identity is in marked contrast to the rest of the country. The dream may still be alive, but it’s challenged at every corner.

What does it mean today?

KPBS and mission-driven media organizations around the state will explore the California Dream starting this year. Reporters and producers will tell the personal stories and discuss the ideas that make up the history, future and current state of the California Dream.

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Thousands Of Californians Are Working While Homeless, And Many Don't Want Their Boss To Know

Sept. 17
David Wagner/ KPCC

California doesn’t define homelessness as a protected class in the workplace.

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Thousands Of Californians Live In Vehicles; Lawsuit Challenges Cities’ Authority To Impound Their Homes

Sept. 13
David Gorn/CALmatters

For thousands of homeless people living in their cars across California, impoundment can be the tipping point into joblessness and a life on the streets.

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How A Transportation Safety Net Could Keep More People Off The Streets

Aug. 31
Meghan McCarty Carino/KPCC

Discounted transit fares and subsidies for new shared mobility tech, like scooters and ride-share, could help low-income people stay on their feet.

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Targeting The Turning Point Of Eviction

Aug. 30
David Gorn/CALmatters

For the more than one-third of Californians living under or near the federal poverty level, eviction may be the first step toward homelessness.

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A Deeper Dive Into California's Housing And Homelessness Crisis

Aug. 28
Victoria Cabales/ CALmatters

Over 134,000 Californians now face homelessness on any given night. Recent research conducted at UCLA found that there is a correlation between high cost of living and homelessness rates. As rents continue to rise, millions of low-income Californians struggle to meet ends meet, and many live on the edge of homelessness.

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New Survey Shows California Dream Continues To Fade

Aug. 28
By Amita Sharma

Nearly half of working Californians are grappling with poverty, according to a new survey by the DC-based Public Religion Research Institute.

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Santa Monica Offers Cash To Seniors To Help With Rent

Aug. 27
By Amita Sharma

As senior homelessness spikes in some parts of the state amid a shortage of affordable housing, Santa Monica is trying out rental subsidies to help keep its seniors off the streets.

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Housing, Homelessness And The California Dream

Aug. 24
Adriene Hill/California Dream Project Editor

On any given night in California there are about 134,000 people without a home, according to annual data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. That’s nearly the equivalent to the population of Pasadena or Roseville, sleeping on the street, on a bench or in a shelter.

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Beloved San Francisco Zen Hospice Project Confronts Its Own End

Aug. 15
April Dembosky/KQED

The San Francisco institution was founded during the height of the AIDS crisis, a time when sick men were left to die alone in the hallways of county hospitals because staff were afraid to touch them. Buddhist practitioners bought the Victorian on Page Street to create a place where men could get compassionate care and die with dignity.

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Where Do People Get Money To Buy California Homes These Days? Often, From Mom And Dad

Aug. 7
David Wagner and Aaron Mendelson / KPCC

Federal data shows first-time buyers in California increasingly rely on family for help.

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Not Living In The Dorms? Good Luck Figuring Out What College Is Gonna Cost

Aug. 6
Vanessa Rancaño/KQED

Inaccurate cost of attendance estimates can throw off students’ budgeting and their financial aid packages.

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Do Housing Costs Deserve Some Of The Blame For California’s Plummeting Fertility Rate?

July 30
By Amita Sharma

The state’s birth rate has dropped to near-record lows, about 1.76 children per woman.

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Fleeing War-Torn Homes For Crippling Rents — How California Housing Costs Are Creating A Harsh Reality For Refugees

July 27
Matt Levin / CALmatters

Seventy hours a week driving Uber, peeing in a bottle, and still late with the rent; refugee agencies rethink strategies in the “resistance state.”

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One State, Unaffordable: Your Housing Questions, Answered

July 13
Kacey Gardner / Capital Public Radio

When it comes to living in California and why it costs so much — you have a lot of questions. We set out to get answers.

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Is California’s Legacy Environmental Law Protecting The State’s Beauty Or Blocking Affordable Housing?

July 10
Ben Bradford/Capital Public Radio

Habitat for Humanity wants to build affordable housing in Redwood City, but a nearby resident is using the California Environmental Quality Act to stop the apartments.

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