STOCKTON -- As a line of federal officials file onto a chartered bus, they’re given a glimpse of the city of Stockton’s progress as well as the issues that still plague it.
"Not just an area where Stockton's bad, bad, bad but these are places that once were bad, had bad things happen and now they're better,” Mayor Michael Tubbs of Stockton said.
Representatives of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, the Department of Health and Human Services, and several other federal organizations toured what Mayor Michael Tubbs calls the promise zone in south Stockton.
“There's a lot of opportunity here for development and really for the community so we're just looking forward to those next steps and figuring out what those are going to be,” Wayne Sauceda, a Deputy Regional Administrator with HUD explained.
Pockets of progress in what some see as a neighborhood full of crime but full of potential.
“We're not just a community with our hand out but we're a community rolling up our sleeves and actually working and they can partner with us in doing that work,” the Mayor told FOX40.
Among the highlights, was the once troubled New Grand Save Market which city officials have said was home to a hotbed of criminal activity.
“Go into that store with your EBT card, no cash in your pocket, you could come out with two 40s of malt liquor, two bowls of crack and $40 in cash,” Fred Shiel, an administrator with STAND of Stockton said.
Since the city shut the mini mart down last year, crime has decreased, according to the Stockton Police Department. Shiel’s organization has been working to revitalize the neighborhood. He said it'll take work from local, state and federal agencies to prompt more change.
“Everybody has a small piece of it. One of the reasons things get this bad is 'cause stuff falls between the cracks,” Shiel explained.
The Mayor said although time will tell what kind of change these partnerships will bring these new relationships can at least help Stockton locate grant funding.
“We'll have connections with the federal agencies now so hopefully we become more eligible and more competitive for grants,” Mayor Tubbs said.