When Christina Torres worked as a customer service representative for Covered California, she helped people navigate the health care system from her home during the pandemic. Some called about open enrollment; others about complications with their health coverage. She heard about cancer treatments and misdiagnoses. Some callers, exasperated with the state’s high cost of living, said they were ready to move.
“I’m like, ‘Where are you going? Take me with you,’” Torres joked during a recent interview.
She empathized with these callers because her family shared their struggles — and after 2 1/2 years of living in motels and shelters, she’d begun to reestablish herself and her family in an apartment. But she and her husband, who works in construction, continue to feel strapped. Recently, they were served with an eviction notice for late rent.”
We’re never going to be able to save up,” Torres said. “We would kind of put funds aside and then tap in it because we had to. We can never save, just never.”