San Joaquin County Trying to Secure Money to Fight Homelessness

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STOCKTON-

San Joaquin County is trying to lock down millions of dollars from Housing and Urban Development to fight homelessness.

Volunteers and organizations have been counting the homeless this year, compiling date for a report that has helped allocate $4 million in past years from the federal government.

"I would not wish it on any kids because it is a rough life," Ted Janis, a homeless man said.

Underneath the busy crosstown freeway in Stockton, and among tents and stray animals you’ll find Janis.

"I chose this and I enjoy it," he said.

Janis said he has made great peace with his life but understands what needs to be done to get more people from off the streets and into homes.

“Gotta have more jobs,” Janis said.

He is among the hundreds of homeless in San Joaquin County. His life on streets will be rendered in statistics that will be sent to Housing and Urban Development by the end of the week.

“The trend has been fewer and fewer people in emergency shelters and transitional housing,” Bill Mendelson, the executive director of the Central Valley Low Income Housing Corporation, said.

The Central Valley Low Income Housing Corporation is preparing their final point-in-time homeless count report.

The vital study is completed bi-annually in an effort to secure at least $4 million in federal funds.

"We’re not convinced that there’s been a large increase in the number of people," he said.

Mendleson said so far the numbers show there are slightly fewer homeless people in emergency shelters.

"It's just in the number of people counted," but adds the number of those without four walls has grown.

Mendelson said he hopes that more long-term solutions will be made in the coming years -- like offering more transitional and semi-permanent homes that will house people like Ted Janis.

“Why don’t we give them a permanent place to live not an emergency shelter?” Mendelson said.

Another point Mendleson highlighted: for years, San Joaquin County and the City of Stockton have not invested any of their own money into homeless programs.