'…it’s the best place to grow a family.'

Drawn to Ogden from southern California by work back in 2005, Jose Medina found a new home.

It was just a temporary job, but he was so impressed by Ogden and Utah that he had his wife, son and daughter come visit so they could see the place for themselves. “We spent a week here and they said, ‘Yes, it’s OK,’” said Medina, originally from Michoacán, Mexico.

Thus, the deal was sealed. They pulled up roots, and Medina now works as a welder while his wife operates a beauty shop in downtown Ogden.

Ensconced in Ogden, Medina says Utah winters can be a bit cold, but that’s about the extent of his gripes. By contrast, life in Oxnard, the California city where he lived, could be nerve-wracking — perilous, even.

“Over there in California, you know, the gangs are just too bad,” he said, taking a break from watering the lawn of his southern Ogden home on Patterson Street, a block south of Cesar Chavez Street.

In fact, many in California would shutter themselves in their homes at night, he continued, and one indicator of the relative safety here are the people sometimes out and about as late as midnight or 1 a.m. 

“I would like to say if people have the chance to come here, it’s the best place to grow a family,” Medina said.

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