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STOCKTON — Hundreds of flies swarmed over a garbage pile near the Stockton Shelter for the Homeless and Saint Mary’s Dining Room, close to the front doors of the tent and cardboard homes many of the homeless have hobbled together along Church and South Harrison streets.

Mace McKinney complains about the pile, but dumps in the area too.

“There’s no where else to do it,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s cool to burn it.”

That bit of confusion is just one of the challenges McKinney, his girlfriend Maria and the rest of their family face during their life on the streets while McKinney lives out parole for a pimping conviction.

Saving up to get off the streets, Ernest Knight lives close to the pile. He told FOX40 it’s awful and won’t put his trash there.

“Where do you take it? I take it down there to the church,” Knight said. “They have a dumpster there. I got permission from them to dump mine down there.”

“It’s just disgusting,” said George Young.

Young, who lives on West Hazelton Avenue, wishes there were more people like Knight finding a real solution for their part in all of the trash. It’s something he doesn’t think the city is doing.

“Where do you think these people go to the bathroom at? They got to eat,” he said. “They gotta go to the bathroom. The side of my fence got marks all over it.”

Mayor Michael Tubbs and his representatives didn’t respond to FOX40 Friday about the trash situation.

“Mr. Tubbs don’t do nothing, won’t return my phone calls,” Young said. “This place is, like, out of hand. You can’t live like this, there’s kids out here.”

Land near the shelter and dining hall is divided between the city, county and state.

Caltrans had planned a clean-up for Friday but had to reschedule for next Friday. Many camping on the streets don’t expect the shelter or Saint Mary’s to take on the burden.

“The shelter, they got their own trash to worry about over there,” Knight said. “And Saint Mary’s, they feed three times a day, seven days a week. They do enough, they let us shower.”

For his part, Knight plans to clean up this corner by moving on to a job in Texas by the end of next month. He just hopes something better can be done for all who are left behind.