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LA’s Essential Workers Face High Risk On The Job, Overcrowding At Home

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Laura Pozos works at a McDonald's in Monterey Park and lives in a three-bedroom home with 10 family members. (Courtesy of Fight for $15 and a Union)
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For L.A.’s essential workers, the housing crisis has become a public health crisis.

According to U.S. Census data, L.A. has the most severely overcrowded housing of any large metro area in the country. And essential workers — such as those in food prep, transportation and healthcare — are more likely than non-essential workers to live in cramped quarters.

“There is this kind of multiplier effect of people who are out in the community, and then bringing back risk to additional people in their crowded living conditions,” said Public Policy Institute of California research fellow Paulette Cha.

In L.A. County, 21% of essential workers live in overcrowded housing. Read our full story to find out how they’re dealing with the risk of contracting COVID-19 at work, and spreading it at home.

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