The City of Stockton announced on Thursday, August 10, 2023, that St. Mary’s Dining Room was selected to operate the shelters adjacent to its campus, which have been managed by Stockton Shelter for the Homeless. The transition will occur on September 1, 2023. The agreement ensures that nearly 250 unhoused individuals, who are also guests of St. Mary’s, will have uninterrupted services.
Stockton City Manager and Director of Emergency Services, Harry Black, said in an official City statement, “We are excited that we have been able to facilitate the assignment of the Stockton Shelter for the Homeless sublease to St. Mary’s Dining Room…We will continue to work toward a smooth transition, ensuring that the most vulnerable of our community have a roof over their heads and access to all necessary services.”
St. Mary’s CEO, Petra Linden, shared in an announcement to St. Mary’s partners on Thursday that her team is prepared and excited for the transition.
“Our deep concern for the well-being of our guests who use these shelters has been driving our conversations with the City and County, and we are both thrilled and relieved to have developed a solution that ensures our guests will continue to have overnight and emergency housing services available without interruption.”
She went on to say, “We are honored to be entrusted with this opportunity to sustain critical sheltering services for our county’s most vulnerable residents. It comes with great responsibility, and we are ready. The work of board members, administrators, partners, staff and volunteers (past and present) has prepared us for this moment…This truly is the beginning of the end of unsheltered homelessness in Stockton.”
On Monday, July 31, 2023, the City of Stockton declared a Local Emergency to protect nearly 250 unhoused individuals, including families with children, women, and men, who were at risk of being displaced by the announced closure of the Shelter. The Local Emergency was ratified by the City Council on Thursday, August 3, 2023. Efforts began immediately to address the announced closure of the Shelter. The City’s top priority has focused on planning and preparing for any potential outcome.
“The collaborative efforts of the City of Stockton, Stockton Shelter for the Homeless, and St. Mary’s Dining Room in reaching an agreement reflects the compassion and commitment of our entire community,” said Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln. “It illustrates that, when we all come together toward a common mission, we are united in our dedication to the safety, protection, and support of our unhoused community members.”
St. Mary’s sheltering project, Pathways, supported by the City, County, Health Plan of San Joaquin and Dignity Health, is expected to be completed at the end of 2024. With the new agreement to manage the adjacent shelters, which includes the Navigation Center, St. Mary’s will soon provide sheltering services for nearly 1,000 individuals.