STOCKTON (CBS13) — It’s a creative idea to clean up Stockton streets in the midst of its homeless crisis.
Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs is pushing a plan to have the city hire the homeless for the job, and he’s teaming up with CalTrans to help pay for it.
The plan would pay the hired homeless minimum wage for litter removal and landscaping.
Teams of five homeless employees and a supervisor would be assigned vans and a port-a-potty, to identify problem spots.
“In Stockton, we have issues we have issues we’ve had for a long time, and we’re really about trying out-of-the-box approaches that are proven to be successful for problems we’ve always had,” Tubbs said.
Jon Mendelson is a homeless advocate in Stockton and runs a program called Ready to Work. He says this proposed homeless program would not replace any existing jobs.
“There’s a great need for typical trash and litter abatement, some of it left behind by homeless encampments,” Mendelson said.
Caltrans had no comment on the plan Friday, but pitched it to councilmembers earlier this week. Caltrans runs a similar program in Bakersfield that’s led 200 homeless families to find permanent housing in a five-year period.