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Homeless crisis in Stockton area gets $12 million booster shot

Officials say they are working on a strategic plan to figure out how to best spend the new funds, so they can hit the ground running when it comes in.

STOCKTON, California — The Stockton region is getting $12 million after getting approved for more funding from a state-created fund to combat the homeless crisis.

Plans for how they'll spend the money are already being developed. Officials are working on a strategic plan to figure out how to best spend the new funds, so they can hit the ground running when it comes in.

"It's not a panacea for every ill, but it will help us do important things like explore the feasibility of navigation systems," Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs said, "...doing everything we can to make sure what we said we value in terms of people having the dignity of housing is actually put into effect with our dollars."

The new $6.5 million will nearly triple Stockton's current level of spending on homelessness. With an additional $2.9 million for San Joaquin County's and $3.1 million for the San Joaquin Continuum of Care, that's a $12 million booster shot dedicated toward addressing homelessness in the region. 

READ ALSO: How Fairfield and Stockton could use CA's $500 million in shelter crisis money

The money comes from Governor Gavin Newsom's Homeless Housing, Assistance, and Prevention fund, $650 million pool of one-time funds to help local governments address homelessness.

Stockton will not be the only city at the table to discuss strategy and curb the homeless crisis in the area. Leaders from cities like Tracy and Manteca will also be trying to find answers.

Some of the key focuses are coordination of homelessness services, crisis response, and permanent housing.

According to Jon Mendelson, Chair of the San Joaquin Continuum of Care, the goal is to get a lot of the funding on the streets quickly, although some projects might take until the end of the year to get stood up.

READ ALSO: How a 500-bed shelter in Stockton will give those in need a 'new life'

"This state funding is unprecedented for our community," Mendelson said. "When you think of homelessness, too often places like Los Angeles and San Francisco get most of the attention and resources, but now Stockton has a seat at the table and we will receive badly needed dollars to help our homeless crisis right here at home."

For service providers like Stockton Shelter for the Homeless, the new money can translate to extra beds and services for the 350 to 400 people they serve every night.

As of the last Point-in-Time Count, there were 2,629 homeless people living in San Joaquin County.

"This is the one issue that everybody is coming together on," said Stockton Vice Mayor Dan Wright. "Everybody in our city, everybody in our state, understands that homelessness is not an issue that’s going to resolve itself unless we work together."

READ ALSO: One of the largest, long-term homeless programs for women coming to Stockton

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