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San Joaquin County Criticized In Its Handling Of Growing Homelessness Problem

File / Rich Pedroncelli / AP
 

File / Rich Pedroncelli / AP

A San Joaquin County grand jury is criticizing how the county is handling the growing problem of homelessness.

A report from the grand jury says the county lacks any semblance of a strategy to coordinate various county, city and nonprofit groups.

According to Howard Seligman, grand jury foreman, the efforts are well-intentioned but often end up being redundant and often wasteful.

“There are so many agencies that are playing some part in addressing the homeless issue, but none of them are working together so they're marching to their own drummer,” says Seligman.

The grand jury says the lack of leadership and communication indicate that addressing homelessness has not been a major priority.

It recommends the county appoint one person to oversee all matters related to the homeless. That person would report directly to the County Administrator and be responsible for setting long and short-term goals.

The grand jury also suggested the county might look to Lodi as a model in developing a plan.

The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors has 90 days to respond to the Grand Jury report.