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Stockton, California, April 30, 2012 – A young couple sit by the river near March Lane. Shanty towns have popped up near service centers as well as outside the city limits. <br />
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While there are no statistics for the city’s homeless population, those below poverty level were at 29.3% in 2009, and a third of those were below 50% of the poverty level. <br />
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Stockton, a city of nearly 300,000 with strong agricultural roots, has been plagued by crime and misfortune over the past several decades. It saw home construction soar nearly three times over during the boom years from 1998 to 2005, only to fall just as precipitously to become a foreclosure epicenter when the boom turned to bust. In June of this year it became the largest city to file for bankruptcy.