Moving to San Bernardino from Los Angeles may help with housing costs, but the area doesn't have much economic opportunity.
Jamika lives in a two-story apartment complex surrounded by a 10-foot-high security gate in San Bernardino, Calif. The yellow paint on the buildings' outside walls is peeling.
She doesn't want to use her full name. She doesn't want too many people to know about her situation.
Jamika and her siblings had to leave the house her family was renting in South Central L.A. when the property went into foreclosure. With money so tight, Jamika moved to San Bernardino, along with three of her siblings.
All around the country, the cost of housing is driving people out of places with the most economic opportunity, like L.A. They, like Jamika, are leaving cities with better job markets in search of a cheaper place to live.
That is, like, part of The Plan. I mean, perhaps it should have been a giveaway when Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti drove Jamika and her three siblings to San Bernardino personally and helped lug their couch up the stairs. *
Jamika, who works in food service at a nearby hospital, says she probably won't go back to L.A.
In San Bernardino, she says, she can actually save some money. And she says there's no way she could do that in Los Angeles.
Cheap To Live, Tough To Work
Between 2007 and 2011, more people moved from Los Angeles County to San Bernardino County than between any other county-to-county pair in the nation.
The median home value in San Bernardino County is about $235,000, according to the real estate company Zillow. In L.A County, it's almost twice that. So it makes sense that people would move here to save money on housing.
In the city of San Bernardino, where Jamika lives, not much looks good besides the housing prices.
"San Bernardino is bankrupt," says City Council member Jim Mulvihill. "Because of that, we've cut back. We had 340 on our police force, now we're down to 240. And given all that, we've had a high crime rate."