Staying Sheltered Series

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Staying Sheltered

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 at Stanford University.


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.