A quiet crisis: Tenants fall through the safety net into an eviction cluster in Long Beach

Rasheena McCord stands outside the hotel in Long Beach where McCord and her kids are living, on July 26, 2021. According to McCord, she has had to sleep on park benches after getting evicted one year ago. Housing Long Beach has assisted McCord in finding temporary housing. Photo by Pablo Unzueta for CalMatters

BY NIGEL DUARA

Everyone in the neighborhood knew Fabiola Favela’s ceviche. You have to trust someone to buy homemade seafood from a street cart, and Favela, 47, was that vendor in the poorest neighborhoods of Long Beach.

When the coronavirus pandemic shut down food carts across Los Angeles County and the rest of the country last year, Favela adapted, taking her knives and cutting boards to a friend’s kitchen. Together, the women, both undocumented, kept sales moving and money in their pocket – until this spring when Favela felt a tickle in her throat. 

It was COVID. 

For weeks, she couldn’t work. The money dried up, she said, and the boarding house in Long Beach where she was subletting a room left an eviction notice with her name on it on the front door. That was the Friday before Memorial Day. 

“They gave me the notice on May 28, and told me to be out on June 2, and every day (in between) was closed for the holiday,” Favela said. “I tried to ask the (people at) the courthouse, but they said I needed to make an appointment.” 

Sheriff’s deputies knocked at 5 a.m. on June 2 and told her to leave, she said. That night, Favela and her 11-year-old son slept in a city park. 

Hers was one of at least 221 households evicted in the city of Long Beach since July 2020, one of the densest clusters of evictions in Los Angeles County, itself the county with the most residential evictions in California, according to a CalMatters analysis.

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