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One homeless person cares about Manteca
homeless weed

Joanna Peddy cares about Manteca.

The 42-year-old didn’t like the looks of a weedy section of East Yosemite Avenue so she decided to do something about it. She pulled weeds without asking.

Peddy happens to be homeless.

 “I pay rent wherever I go,” she said.  “I chose to be homeless. I lost my job and my car all in a week’s time in the Bay Area.”

She said she has been walking by the 500 block of East Yosemite Avenue up to four times a day and has continually noticed those weeds between the sidewalk and the parking lot of O’Reilly Auto Parts store on the north side of the street.

It was about 2 p.m. on Tuesday that she had seen enough of the prickly, dry weeds and decided to do something about it.  She said she took her long sleeve shirt that she had with her and used it as a mitt for her left hand and with the palm of her right hand twisted out the roots and pulled the individual weeds out and threw them in a pile. She noted that shirt protected her hands from the thorns.

Peddy said she could have used a broom rather than having her feet to sweep up the debris.  

“I will do anything,” she said. “Just not alcohol or drugs.”

 When offered a bottle of cold water she turned it down saying she would walk over to Taco Bell and buy one.

She noted that she lives on her Social Security income and stops by her dad’s home in Manteca when she needs a break from the outdoors. 

Peddy said her dad was long in a tree trimming service in the Bay Area and that’s where she probably gets her feeling for keeping areas clean and clear.  She has a 21-year-old daughter who works in fast food in Manteca and she sees her regularly but she remains independent, living on the streets.  

She remembers growing up in Redwood City. She has been in Manteca since December of 2009.  She has volunteered over the years for El Concilio and St. Jude’s in the Manteca community.


To contact Glenn Kahl, email