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Business & Economy

LIsten to this: A surprising story about homelessness in LA and SoCal



Tandra Dixon's two-year-old son, J.J., looks out the front door of their South Los Angeles home on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 21, 2016. In November, Dixon and her five children moved into this two-bedroom apartment.
Tandra Dixon's two-year-old son, J.J., looks out the front door of their South Los Angeles home on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 21, 2016. In November, Dixon and her five children moved into this two-bedroom apartment.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Take a little time this weekend, put on your headphones and come with our KPCC team to understand better why so many parents with jobs, kids in school and families have become homeless in recent years.

You can listen directly or download the powerful 24-minute audio story, and explore the in-depth web story and its links on how to get involved. Find it all here: Broke: Why More California Families Are Becoming Homeless.

This isn't the story many of us think we know.  The numbers of homeless families have risen rapidly even amid the economic recovery.

Their story exists alongside the better-known narrative of chronically homeless and the complications of drug addiction or alcoholism. It's about the lives of children, the fragility of families in poverty and the hammer blow that skyrocketing rents have dealt to low-income people in Southern California. There are reasons that existing public assistance isn't making up gaps, and a growing discussion on how government, nonprofit agencies and the private sector — and, especially, communities — should respond. 

We want our journalism to elevate and inform this conversation.

Correspondent Rina Palta, who covers the social safety net, and arts education reporter Priska Neely teamed up on the reporting for the story, along with visual journalist Maya Sugarman. Many other KPCC staffers contributed, and Evelyn Larrubia, managing editor, edited the project.

The 24-minute audio story also will air Saturday at noon on 89.3 KPCC during "Off-Ramp," which repeats Sunday at 6 p.m.

You can also catch up with a roundtable of experts on "Take Two" and an open discussion on what role government should play on "AirTalk."

Join the discussion on KPCC's Facebook page. And if you care to, please share the story via your own social networks.

We'll have more coverage and conversation in the weeks to come. Please join us.

Homeless families on CalWORKS
Homeless families on CalWORKS