Some 350 to 400 people from the private sector, non-profit and government offices gathered to discuss a plan to end homelessness in Merced County.
The goal is to get homeless veterans and young people off the streets. "The answer is permanent supportive housing," Merced city manager Steve Carrigan said. "And that's where you put a homeless person into a bed. They pay the rent. They play by the rules. And they can stay as long as they play by the rules."
Merced city leaders say they've already seen a dramatic decrease in the number of homeless living on the streets. During a count in January, the numbers dropped from 899 to 525 homeless people believed to be living in Merced.