STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in his State of the State address Wednesday that he’s immediately deploying emergency resources to cities across California to address homelessness, including Stockton.
Nine trailers are headed to the Stockton Shelter for the Homeless to house more people.
“We have families sleeping on the floor in overflow right now,” said Stockton Shelter for the Homeless CEO JoLyn McMillan. “Having these nine trailers will allow us to move up to 50 people into these trailer facilities and off the floor.”
McMillan said those trailers will be used for larger families.
“We’re hoping that we can receive the trailers sometime next week and when that happens, we will immediately put them into use so we can even bring in more families. Our work never stops,” she told FOX40.
Lopeti Moala knows firsthand what this kind of help can mean for a family. He works at the shelter and also lives there with his wife and eight of his kids.
“We were going to separate them because, like, right now I don’t have my other three kids with me because there’s not enough room for us, so they’re with my sister,” he explained.
He said the trailers are a great opportunity for large families like his to stay together and have more privacy.
“I think it will be better if they had that option when we came over here,” Moala told FOX40. “I would have taken that option of staying in a trailer and stuff. You got your own personal space and everything in there.”
But the help may not last long. The trailers are only approved to be used through September of this year, though the city says there’s the possibility of an extension.
“On a case-by-case basis depending on the need, right,” said Max Vargas, the senior policy adviser for Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs. “So, we’re working very aggressively to plan ahead for any and all eventualities but we’re definitely here to make use of this opportunity today.”
In addition to the trailers, there are other expansion plans for the shelter in the works.
McMillan said she wants to convert the temporary winter shelter that currently houses 50 men into a permanent low-barrier shelter for women.
“That will bring about 40 women off the street that are currently living on the streets and there’s no place for them to go,” McMillan explained.
She said right now, women in the county struggling with addiction do not have anywhere to go.
“What we’re trying to do is provide a safe place for them to sleep at night where they don’t have to prostitute, where they’re not being human trafficked and where they have an opportunity for some safety and sobriety if they choose,” McMillan said.
The winter shelter will operate until the end of March. It is actively seeking funding for the women’s shelter expansion, which will also allow pets.
For more information on the Stockton Shelter for the Homeless, visit their website.