STOCKTON, Calif — James Gibson has been at the brand new Stockton Shelter for the Homeless on West Church Street for two days now. Like so many other people experiencing homelessness, Gibson said he is trying to put his life back together.
Gibson said he was living in Texas and was promised a better paying job if he moved to California. But once he arrived in Stockton things weren’t what they seemed. With no job, no money, no friend or family, Gibson said his only option was the Stockton Shelter.
“I came down here through this guy who gave me false information,” Gibson explained to ABC10. “He told me I was in and everything was good. All I had to do was to get down here and pay my own way. Come to find out, the guy wasn’t even associated with the company.”
The Stockton Shelter for the Homeless has been working on an Emergency Winter Shelter project for the past few months after recently securing $100,000 in funding thanks to city and county leaders.
Last month, Stockton City Council allocated $100k to the Gospel Center Rescue Mission and another $100k to the Stockton Shelter to help support an additional 50 beds at each location throughout the winter months.
The Gospel Center Rescue Mission opened it's extra 50 beds on Dec. 1, and the Stockton Shelter had its grand opening on Tuesday.
Jolyn McMillan, the Stockton Shelter's CEO, said she has noticed the area’s homeless population has been growing throughout the years. She added that in the first nine months of 2019 the shelter was operating at capacity on both the men’s side and the family side of the shelter.
The additional 50 beds will be used to shelter men in need.
“The winter shelter for the men here is critical,” Mcmillan said. “We would have had to turn men away this winter without this additional facility here.”
The extra beds are something Gibson said he’s thankful for this holiday, giving him a warm place to sleep on this Christmas Eve.
“Circumstances — situations rise that puts you on top of the world one day, and the next you are crawling up a hill,” Gibson said.
Follow the conversation on Facebook with Mayde Gomez.
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