As she makes her way inside Stockton's Shelter for the Homeless, Sylvia Torres dream is to her own place for her two teenage daughters and four adopted grandsons.
"My prayers would be answered daily. I pray daily and I don't ever want to leave home. Never want to leave home," said Torres.
For over a year, she's been living in a 12-by-12 square foot home.
She had a one bedroom apartment, but had too many people for the size and the landlord made her leave.
Working three jobs, and now onto a fourth, 80 percent of what she makes is required to be saved in order to find a place to call home.
"I haven't had Christmas and Thanksgiving. It's always at my house. I haven't had that since I have been here," said Torres.
Now Stockton is trying to change that with a new program that encourages home buyers to fix up homes with at least $15,000 in existing code violations.
Once the new owner makes the needed repairs, all fees and penalties the property accrued will be waived.
"So really it's about trying to improve our housing stock in Stockton. And really given properties that have fallen in disrepair to be reinvested in and the neighborhood gets reinvested in," said Micah Runner, Stockton's Director of Economic Development.
The city estimates Stockton has about 100 homes that fit the criteria of the new Residential Neighborhood Reinvestment Program.
The trick is for a buyer to find a willing property owner to sell their home. Once a timeline is set up for repairs, the violations must be fixed within one year of the project's approval.
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