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San Joaquin County Supervisor Pushes for Ordinance to Regulate Homeless Activity

STOCKTON -- San Joaquin County Supervisor Tom Patti is calling on colleagues to create an ordinance to address encampments and abandoned shopping carts.

Under the Crosstown Freeway in Stockton, among tents and with a book in her hands, is where Cleopatra finds shelter. It's a life she says she never asked for nor wanted.

"Homeless people aren’t bad people," she said. "We just had bad situations and it’s not always drugs."

The kind of unauthorized encampments like the one where Cleopatra lives are what many city and county leaders want to change.

In a two page letter to the board, Patti cites encampments and abandoned shopping carts leading to a number of health and safety issues within unincorporated neighborhoods.

The board ultimately did not take any action.

Bill Mendelson, a member of the San Joaquin County Homeless Task Force, said it will take more than an ordinance to get people off the streets and that a county ordinance would only impact unincorporated neighborhoods.

"But addressing the issue of shopping carts is not going to address really the issue of whether or not there are folks who are unsheltered, living on the streets, and perhaps in his view, in unauthorized encampments," Mendelson said.

FOX40 spoke to Patti over the phone.

"I believe with extreme confidence that we’ll get good engagement and we’ll establish parameters of what will be allowable conduct as it relates to camping," Patti said.

Patti added county staff will now research more and come back to the board after they’ve taken a look at current ordinances.

See below for Patti's letter in full.