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Stockton's homeless call for more resources as city clears encampment

Stockton clears homeless camp at former KFC site
Stockton clears homeless camp at former KFC site 02:41

STOCKTON — The City of Stockton has nearly 1,000 homeless people, and while efforts continue to amp up housing for that population, the city said they currently have around 700 beds in the pipeline.

This comes as more unhoused people seek opportunities to get off the streets.

Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln sat down with us Tuesday and said the city is working on getting them help. But on the streets, they feel ignored.

Adrienne Zadoer and her partner DeAndre Milton are homeless in Stockton. They set up flea market-style shops anywhere they can. They go around and find or buy things to sell like clothes and vases from other flea markets or what's left at junkyards.

"They understand that times are hard and they respect the business you know?" said Milton.

However, this time, their business was set up on private property. What used to be a KFC has been empty since late March. 

Zadoer and Milton saw other encampments on the property and thought why not set up their business?

"It's an empty parking lot. It's a great location. Let's try to make some money," Zadoer said.

"They didn't tell anyone to leave until we came, until we started selling stuff, but people have been here for months," Milton rebutted.

Tuesday however, they were kicked out by the city's code enforcement. Milton and Zadoer are just two of the more than 900 unhoused in Stockton.

"We're just wondering, like, where is the support at?" Milton asked.

Mayor Lincoln said the city has over 730 beds in the pipeline as a result of a shelter program and expansion.

"It's not a crime to be homeless. There are people who are out there on tough times," he said.

The St. Mary's shelter received state and county funding to open 300 beds. Construction is still ongoing.

"We have resources. We have services," Mayor Lincoln said. "They are options for those individuals, but homelessness is also complex."

However, people like Milton and Zadoer say they simply don't see it yet.

"All that money and the only thing I've seen is them coming out with socks, a sandwich and a bottle of water with millions being granted to the county," Zadoer said.

Code enforcement said that everyone was asked to leave the former KFC site after the property owner gave them permission to clear it out.

Police say they are giving the homeless at the site ample time to gather their things and find another place to stay. Their outreach officers will also be at the parking lot site as well.

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