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California Taps Health Care Money to Pay for Homeless Services

By Guy Marzorati, KQED News/The California Report

Standing in his new apartment, on the top of a two-level building in Oakland, Daniel Yapo admits his journey from homelessness to housing took a lot of help.

Yapo spent years bouncing between temporary homes and jail, even spending time living on a roof in nearby Hayward. Service providers helped him find a place of his own, navigate treatment for mental illness and handle the tasks that come with independent living. 

Read the complete story at KQED News/The California Report.

California Vows Fight After House OKs Law to Punish Sanctuary Cities

By Marisa Lagos, KQED News Fix/The California Report

Republicans in the House of Representatives pushed through two bills Thursday that would punish so-called sanctuary cities and people who re-enter the country after being deported — and would codify into law much of what President Trump has tried to do by executive order.

But whether or not the measures — one known as Kate’s Law, after San Francisco murder victim Kate Steinle — will be able to get through the Senate remains unclear. Plus, if the bills are signed into law, immigrant rights advocates say they will sue.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix/The California Report.

Neighbors Sound Off on Mission’s 2 Alternative Homeless Shelters

By Laura Wenus, KALW/Crosscurrents

An abandoned industrial building on the southern border of San Francisco’s Mission District is about to become the city’s newest Navigation Center.

It’s at 26th Street and South Van Ness Avenue. The shelter is expected to open soon and will only be around for an estimated nine months before it’s removed and housing is built on the site.

Neighbors I spoke with generally liked the idea of having a center here. Local resident Marvin Garcia knows the homeless need somewhere to go.

Read the complete story at KALW/Crosscurrents.

The Suburbs: The New Face of Bay Area Homelessness

By Devin Katayama, KQED News Fix/The California Report

William Ware sits in a large empty field along the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, shaving his face using a broken mirror. He found himself here after a waterskiing accident in 2009 led to painkiller addiction, and a downward spiral ensued.

Ware lost his five-bedroom house in Brentwood, the cars and the boat. Losing his family hurt the most, he said. The names of his two kids — Michael and Alyssa — are tattooed on his arms. They no longer talk to him. His wife left him. Ware has been homeless in Antioch for about two years.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix/The California Report.

Rumors of Citizenship Troubles Keep Immigrants From Getting Legal Benefits

By Laura Wenus, Mission Local

Immigrants who can’t afford to feed their families are facing hunger rather than accepting benefits that rumors tell them could put their hopes of becoming citizens in jeopardy, according to immigration attorneys and those who work with food benefits.

“We have asylum seekers who are in homeless shelters and they haven’t accessed benefits because they’re afraid it’ll affect their case,” said Ana Herrera, an immigration attorney with Dolores Street Community Services. 

Read the complete story at Mission Local. 

Is California’s Investment in Needy Students Paying Off? Few Signs Yet That Achievement Gap Is Closing

By Jessica Calefati, CALmatters 

California’s new system for funding public education has pumped tens of billions of extra dollars into struggling schools, but there’s little evidence yet that the investment is helping the most disadvantaged students.

A CALmatters analysis of the biggest districts with the greatest clusters of needy children found limited success with the policy’s goal: to close the achievement gap between these students and their more privileged peers. Instead, test scores in most of those districts show the gap is growing.

Read the complete story at CALmatters.

GOP Health Bill—How We Got Into This Mess

By Paul Kleyman, New America Media

Amid all of the scoreboard coverage of the Republicans’ American Health Care Act—they have the Senate votes, they don’t have the votes, how many millions will be stranded without insurance—few lines of type have delved beneath the partisan debates as sharply as Christy Ford Chapin did in her New York Times op-ed June 19, headlined, “How Did Health Care Get to Be Such a Mess?.”

“The problem with American health care is not the care. It’s the insurance,” Chapin begins. Her essay comes on the eve of the GOP’s promised release of its secretive overhaul of American health care. But, while almost everyone agrees that health care in the United States is broken, neither the national media nor political leadership have added much to the public’s understanding of how basically flawed the system is, how it was destined to become so costly, while healing so few compared with health care outcomes in any other advanced economy.

Read the complete story at New America Media.

7 Things to Know About California’s Long Heat Wave

By Dan Brekke, KQED News Fix/The California Report

Flex alert: The California Independent System Operator, or Cal ISO for short, has declared a flex alert for Tuesday because of high demand on the state’s electrical grid as the heat wave continues. A flex alert is a voluntary conservation program under which consumers are asked to take basic energy-saving measures such as setting thermostats higher (to cut down on air conditioning) and delaying use of large appliances until late in the evening.

Where it will be hottest: The Badwater area of Death Valley National Park could hit 127 on Tuesday. But you don’t need to go nearly as far as remote Death Valley to find searing heat. The entire 500-mile length of the Central Valley is under an excessive heat warning through late Friday. Temperatures are forecast to reach temperatures well over the century mark again Tuesday, with forecast highs of 108 in Redding, in the north, to 111 in Bakersfield, in the south.

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix/The California Report. 

California to Raise Income Limits to Allow More Children to Qualify for Subsidized Child Care

By Ashley Hopkinson, EdSource Today

The budget approved Thursday by the state Legislature responds to a long-sought demand from child care advocates that California raise the income eligibility limit so more low-income families qualify for subsidized child care.

The budget for the coming fiscal year requires the Department of Finance to calculate income eligibility for subsidized child care based on the most recent state median income information. It will also adjust that number based on family size.

Read the complete story at EdSource.

What Would Really Happen If a Tsunami Hit the Bay Area?

By Johanna Varner and Olivia Allen-Price, KQED News Fix

In 2015, Steven Horowitz was watching one of the summer’s big blockbuster action flicks, “San Andreas.” In the movie, the San Andreas Fault shifts, triggering a magnitude 9.6 earthquake in San Francisco. Disaster ensues — and for the rest of the movie we watch as all of the West Coast’s greatest landmarks are destroyed one by one in an epic, computer-generated spectacle.

“I was sitting there watching the giant tsunami course through the Golden Gate and into the bay,” he says. “I looked at that and thought: Wouldn’t there be some kind of dissipation coming through the Golden Gate?”

Read the complete story at KQED News Fix.