PARENTS BY CHOICE hosted the 3rd annual Safe Trick or Treat event at Courthouse Plaza this past Tuesday evening. The 3 to 7 p.m. event welcomed children of all ages to dress up as their favorite character and collect sweet treats.  

The event hosted approximately 25 booths with vendors, schools and organizations such as Visit Stockton and Downtown Stockton that gave out freebies to children. Children also got to play arcade games and experience a haunted house, put together by the staff of Parents by Choice. Nearly 400 people attend the event annually. 

The nonprofit organization works with foster youth, housing programs and mental health programs. Tony Yadon, the executive director of Parents by Choice, said the organization purchased the Courthouse Plaza in 2020 and created small businesses to provide jobs for foster youth and has expanded to youth experiencing challenges related to finance and housing as well as youth involved with the juvenile justice system. 

“It’s just been really gratifying to watch the community embrace what’s happening here,” Yadon said. 

Harika Maddala is a photojournalist based in Stockton covering San Joaquin County for Pagransen and its nonprofit news site Pagransen. They are a Report for America corps member and a CatchLight Local Fellow.