Bakersfield Homeless Center running at capacity

Family waited for an opening at shelter

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - On Thursday 23 ABC shared a story about a homeless mom and her 3 kids. They were living at a motel on White Lane for more than a week. The family was running out of cash while they waited for an opening at the Bakersfield Homeless Center, but the shelter was full. 

 "For the last couple of months we have been running at capacity in our facility. If we had beds, they were very few and were typically on our single side, definitely not on the family side," said Louis Gill of the Bakersfield Homeless Center.

 The shelter has a total of 174 beds which is broken down to separate housing to accommodate various needs. They take in families with children, single men and women.

 Friday the shelter finally got an opening for Amy Ruffin and her kids.

 "They called me back and let me know that there was space available, so here I am," said Ruffin.

 Ruffin said her situation began to go downhill when she lost her job. The single mom was having a difficult time finding work when she became homeless. The family was living hand-to-mouth at the motel.

 "Our job is to make sure families are safe and cared for. As long as we are physically able, we will bring them in," said Gill.

120 of those beds are dedicated to families with children. Generally, when the shelter is full, it's because of them.

 "The largest population we have on any given night is children," said Gill.

 Ruffin is no longer holding the stress of possibly living on the street with her kids. Her plan now is to get back on her feet and find permanent housing.

 "The Bethany Homeless Center came through for my family and I thank them so much for that," said Ruffin.

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