In California, there are many citizens and immigrants who are struggling to earn enough income to support themselves and, if applicable, one’s family. The cost of living in California is so high that many families in the Bay Area, in particular, are having a hard time paying off their bills. Even though the minimum wage continues to increase, yet the cost of living keeps increasing, but families are still struggling to earn a good living. This also leads to a high crime rate.
Many of the families in California works as full-time workers and try to earn a decent amount of money, but they are still struggling. According to Bohn, “17. 8% of Californians (about 6.9 million) lacked enough resources to meet basic needs in 2017.” (Bohn). This shows how many families don’t earn enough money for a living which results in poverty and not having enough resources to survive in California. My parents also are struggling to put food on the table for my brother and me, because they only make $65,000 a year. Even though my parents work seven days a week, and eight hours per day, yet my parents are still having trouble earning money to have a good life here in San Jose, California. This makes me sad, because my family came to America to have a better life, yet my family is struggling.
Immigrants are also one of the highest to experience poverty because they are less educated than people who were born in the U. S. Bohn states, “23. 6% Latinos lived in poverty, compared with 17. 6% African American, 16.4% of Asian/ Pacific Islander, and 12.% of White.” (Bohn). This means that people who are not from the U. S are very poor, and don’t make enough money to support themselves, and their families. Besides, immigrants are less fortunate on landing a good-paying job, because they did not finish school, and don’t know how to speak English properly. This results in many immigrants to work below the minimum wage, but this is not enough to support their family. In Bohn’s view, “For 44.9% of those in poverty, at least one family member reported working full time…or part of the year.” (Bohn). Most of the immigrants have to work two jobs to be able to survive. As a result, many of the families have to work together. This is very devastating to see because all the family members have to work to be able to help each other.
Even young adults are affected by poverty in California, because their parents don’t earn enough money for a living, and lead to becoming homeless. According to Hellerstein, “But the 56-year-old Bessera becomes emotional…afford to rent anymore on her $400 a month income.” (Hellerstein). Based on this information, many people who live in California are having a hard time paying off their houses and other bills. They don’t make enough for a living which results in living on the streets. I see this a lot in my neighborhood because where I live is in the heart of Silicon Valley in San Jose, California. Hellerstein herself writes, “Experts say the statistics can largely be traced to high housing costs… are hospitality and agriculture.” (Hellerstein). This means that Silicon Valley is where technology is born and created many jobs for people. However, this increased the value of items in the area, including houses, tax, and accessories. This also resulted in increased minimum wage yearly, so people can afford to live in Silicon Valley, but the living cost is also increased. Everything is just so expensive that people can’t afford to have nice things. With that said, Bessera and her family had no choice, but to live out in the street as a result.
Another concern is students who are struggling to balance school and work to survive. Most of the students who are in college are having a hard time paying off their tuition fees for school, and this affects their living situation as well. According to Deruy, “ 4,000 students at San Jose State who found themselves in the last year… from California State University. (Deruy). Students are already in debt from school, yet tuition is very expensive, and this leads to many students being homeless. Of course, student can’t afford to pay a dorm or an apartment to live in, since the government won’t help. The student ended up working at a part-time job somewhere and balancing school at the same time. This is really hard to do because it distracts students from learning. Based on my experience, I had a hard time balancing school and work during my high school years, and even up today. I had no choice but to work, so I can help my parents pay their bills for them. Now that I am in college, I work more than before, because the government did not give me money for tuition. As a result, I’m under a very stressful time as a freshman in college. In addition, according to Deruy, “Now several years later… part-time job with homework to help his parents.” (Deruy). Juan Maruffo is one of the students who struggle to make a living with his family even though he is in school, and he has a part-time job. With that said, he experienced poverty at the end of his high school senior when Maruffo’s dad was fired and his family wounded up in the street for several months while he was in college. He had probably had a hard time dealing with that kind of situation. This shows how many students go through hardship in poverty, and even though life is tough, yet they still managed to balance their life.
Crime is the last resort of poverty because the crime rate is increasing as people are becoming unable to support themselves. According to Regoli, “When people live in households that are struggling… 1,000 people in middle-to-high families.” (Regoli). Many of the people who live in America are in poverty, and that’s why we have one of the highest crime rates in the world. People can’t afford to make a decent living with just a minimum wage at a workplace. As a result, they live in a ghetto place where crime is committed. People are also trying to earn enough money by selling drugs illegally on the streets. Usually, urban places are where the crime is at height, and the Bay Area is an urban Area. I live in a very ghetto place because there are always cops roaming around my neighborhood. But almost everyone who lives in the area is experiencing poverty like me. Most of the area in San Jose is ghetto which there are many crimes committed in the city. As a result, crime is linked to poverty, since people would earn money illegally which is a crime under the law.
Many of us are living in poverty in California and have struggled to make a living, but we still manage to work hard and put food on the table for our families. Hopefully, the government will help the poor from poverty by creating programs that give families some extra help. So in this way, people can live very comfortably and have a good-paying job instead of stressing of not having enough money to pay their bills.