Finding a Place to Call Home in California

Despite an investment of over $20 billion in recent years to combat homelessness, California still faces a critical challenge with alarmingly high numbers of people living on the streets and in their vehicles.

Jessica Castillo-Tapia, a graduating senior at UC Santa Barbara, understands the harsh realities of housing insecurity from her own life experiences. Raised in a one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles shared with her extended family, Castillo-Tapia faced significant challenges at home, including violence, making school her sanctuary.

“Growing up, college was everything to me,” she recalls.

Initially, Castillo-Tapia secured campus housing during her first quarter at UC Santa Barbara, but financial constraints forced her to drop out as she couldn’t afford housing for the subsequent quarters.

Undeterred, she eventually returned to UCSB and began advocating for other students facing similar struggles with housing stability.

In the program “Is Housing a Human Right?”, Castillo-Tapia joins a diverse panel of experts to address California’s housing crisis. They discuss various issues, from the high costs of constructing low and moderate-income housing to the complexities of relocating people to shelters amidst community opposition.

Watch Is Housing a Human Right?