33% of Californians now worry they are worse off than a year ago


The PPIC Statewide Survey has uncovered some interesting results about the most important issues to residents of Orange County. In addition, it provides insight into how the people feel about their government.

In May 2023, the PPIC surveyed residents to identify their main concerns. These included the economy, homelessness, and housing.

These issues have been persistent in the state. The cause is likely a lack of affordability, a high cost of living, and limited housing availability. It is not surprising that these are the pressing issues being dealt with.

Additional Findings of the PPIC Statewide Survey

The survey finding results demonstrate that Californians are most worried about the cost of housing. 41% of respondents named it as their top concern. The problem of homelessness and the state of the economy are also significant worries.

Analyzing data from survey responses also revealed that 33% and 32% of respondents documented them as their top critical issues.

California's high cost of living and shortage of affordable housing have worsened the homelessness problem, enlarging the homeless population. This lack of availability of housing has had a damaging effect on the economy, making it hard for people to support themselves. The survey results clarify that action must be taken to resolve these urgent problems. But first, we must guarantee that all Californians can find safe and affordable housing.

The effects felt throughout Orange County.

Survey results suggest 57% of Orange/San Diego County residents think the state is heading in the wrong direction. This is a significant number and should be a cause for concern for policymakers. It is essential to understand why people feel this way and what can be done to address their concerns. The government must look closely at the issues and develop practical solutions to improve the state's overall situation.

The survey questions found that inflation has cooled in recent months. However, 60% of Californians stated that the price increases have caused hardship. This alarming statistic highlights how inflation can impact people's lives and make making ends meet difficult.

More specifically, 14% of Orange/San Diego residents report severe hardships, a significant percentage of the population.

Photo byPPIC Statewide Survey

Homelessness is a major issue in Orange County, California, and it requires innovative ways to address it. Fortunately, there are tips and resources available to Orange County residents facing homelessness or financial hardships.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) both provide resources. These resources help to prevent and end homelessness. These resources include approved appraisers, HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, and disaster resources.

The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) offers various resources to help tackle the issue. These resources include webinars, PowerPoint presentations, online video training, and print materials.

Addressing homelessness requires more than just resources, though. Orange County residents must come together in order to find creative solutions for each individual's unique circumstances.

Watch the video below for information on Orange County's northern neighbor, Santa Clara County, aims to end homelessness. Perhaps, these are potential options that can be brought to Orange County.

Orange County Food Banks

- The Coast Hills Food Pantry

5 Pursuit Aliso Viejo, Ca 92656

A ministry offered onsite at Coast Hills to assist families in our area who struggle to provide food on their tables.

  • First and third Saturday of each month at Coast Hills Church. 
  • Food distribution: 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

- Laguna Food Pantry

20652 Laguna Canyon Road Laguna Beach, CA 92651

  • Laguna Food Pantry offers groceries to anyone in need.
  • Groceries are 100% free. No fee and no proof of need is required.
  • Some form of ID is needed. No proof of citizenship status is required.
  • You may receive groceries once a week.
  • You do NOT need to be a resident of Laguna Beach
  • You may pick up groceries for friends, family members, and neighbors who cannot visit the Pantry themselves. Please let the Pantry greeter know how many people you are shopping for.


8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday

- Saddleback Church Grocery Distributions

  • Heroes Park

25420 Jeronimo Rd, Lake Forest, CA 92630

June 6th: 9:00am - 11:00am

  • Outlets at San Clemente

101 W Avenida Vista Hermosa, San Clemente, CA 92672

June 7th: 9:00am - 11:00am

  • Van Deene Elementary

826 Javelin St, Torrance, CA 90502

June 10th: 9:00am - 11:00am

  • Saddleback Church-Central Lot

1 Saddleback Parkway, Lake Forest, CA 92630

June 13th: 9:00am - 11:00am

  • Saddleback Church-Rancho Capistrano

29251 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

June 15th: 9:30am - 11:00am

  • Laguna Country Methodist Church

24442 Moulton Pkwy, Laguna Woods, CA 92637

June 16th: 9:00am - 10:30am

  • El Toro High School

25255 Toledo Way, Lake Forest, CA 92630

June 17th: 9:00am - 11:00am

  • San Clemente High School

700 Avenida Pico, San Clemente, CA 92673

June 17th: 9:00am - 11:00am

  • Heroes Park

25420 Jeronimo Rd, Lake Forest, CA 92630

June 20th: 9:00am - 11:00am

  • Outlets at San Clemente

101 W Avenida Vista Hermosa, San Clemente, CA 92672

June 21st: 9:00am - 11:00am

  • Western High School

501 S Western Ave, Anaheim, CA 92804

June 26th: 8:00am - 10:00am

  • Department Of Children/Family Services

2325 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA 90503

June 26th: 9:00am - 11:00am

  • Eastvale Community Park

12750 Citrus St, Eastvale, CA 92880

June 27th: 9:00am - 11:00am

  • Lake Forest Sports Park

28000 Rancho Pkwy, Lake Forest, CA 92630

June 27th: 9:00am - 11:00am

Watch the video below for more on the OC Board of Supervisors' recent approval of $3 million to restock food banks.

Efforts to address citizens' concerns

The PPIC Statewide Survey provides meaningful insight into Californians' concerns and hardships. It is evident from the survey that economic conditions, homelessness, and housing are paramount concerns that must be addressed without delay.

The Los Angeles City Councilmember recently proposed a plan to raise the minimum wage for airport and hotel workers. The wage would increase up to $25 an hour. Every year after that, the wage would increase by an additional $1 until it reaches $30 an hour in 2028.

This proposal is an example of a measure that addresses issues identified in the Public Policy Institute of California's (PPIC) Statewide Survey. The survey revealed that many citizens are concerned about low wages and the cost of living.

The plan, if approved, would give many workers a much-needed raise. This raise would enable them to provide for themselves and their families more effectively. Additionally, it could stimulate the local economy, as workers will have more money to spend. It could also set an example for other states and cities, encouraging them to increase their minimum wage as well.

Orange County is fighting for higher wages too

Unite Here Local 11, a union representing 32,000 hotel employees in Southern California and Arizona, is asking their workers to approve a strike on June 8 to fight for a wage raise of $5 an hour.

In an interview on Wednesday, Ada Briceño, the union's co-president, mentioned that workers are struggling to afford housing with their current salaries and need an increase in their wages. Negotiations are currently taking place with different hotels in the area, including the Marriott Irvine, Irvine Hilton, the Balboa Bay Club, Hilton Anaheim, Sheraton Park, Costa Mesa Hilton, Laguna Cliff, and the Embassy Suites in Irvine.

Briceño's union is attempting to get a raise of $5 an hour for workers as part of the new contract, however details of what the hotel owners are offering have not been given. The average hourly pay for a room attendant in Orange County is currently $17.50. The contracts are due to end on June 30th.

The union is fighting for an ordinance to be passed in Orange County to increase the minimum wage for hospitality workers to $25 and provide more protections. Briceño said a lot of these workers are at risk of being homeless. She says “They’re sleeping on other people’s couches, they’re living in their cars and they’re one paycheck away from homelessness,” adding that she is confident they will authorize a strike.


What do you think can be done to address the concerns raised in the PPIC Statewide Survey?


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