If you take one high-profile count of the region’s homeless at face value, you’d assume homelessness in the South Bay is dropping. But a closer look reveals many homeless families there are hidden out of sight, a reality that has real implications for some of the most vulnerable populations in the South Bay.

Last school year, one-third of students in the San Ysidro School District were identified as homeless. In this short web documentary, Catalina Rios discusses her family’s struggle to find and afford stable housing. After living in a junkyard, Rios and her children now crowd into a tiny trailer.

San Ysidro’s demographics and its location on the border contribute to a unique set of housing woes. “I can’t get my green card without an address, I can’t work without a green card and I can’t afford an apartment without work,” said one resident whose struggle is familiar to many community members.

When a 15-year-old was killed by a semi-truck in Otay Mesa in 2014, news reports focused on the fact that the teen was on her phone. No one asked why she was walking in an industrial area where few pedestrians ever go. The answer: She was walking home from school. Home was a junkyard.

SB 54, the so-called sanctuary state bill, would be the most significant change to local immigration enforcement in a decade – and it would come not from President Donald Trump but the state.