Homeless Collaborative working to educate those in need about free services available to them

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Several organizations are working together to make sure the homeless have the resources they need to get their lives back on track.

More than 15 agencies gathered at The Mission at Kern County late Wednesday afternoon for the “Project Homeless Connect” event. The organizations had booths set up to provide the homeless with information on services available to them.

“Sometimes people don’t understand that services are out there and when they see they can be referred to a service they think why not take advantage of it,” said Carlos Baldovinos, Executive Director of The Mission at Kern County.

Resources fairs have been very helpful to people like Cesar A. Ortiz, who was homeless for three years.

“I got lost. I couldn’t find my way,” said Ortiz.

The Mission at Kern County helped Ortiz start over and learn about events like Project Homeless.

“I really didn’t care about anything and then all of a sudden I came here and they opened doors for me and they opened their arms and took me in,” said Ortiz.

"We want to help them get an I.D. We want to help them get plugged in with some government assistance or even permanent housing,” explained Baldovinos.

The event is open to residents at The Mission along anyone from the community who needs help.

"For them to come here and provide information necessary to move forward is a godsend,” said Tyrone Andrews Junior, resident at The Mission at Kern County.

"I didn't know there were people that cared and that they had services for people like me,” said Ortiz.

Now Ortiz does know what's out there and Ortiz told 23ABC his life is back on track.

"I feel like there is a direction there is a purpose.”

The Mission at Kern County hosts the resource fair every two to three months, but there are also other fairs held around Bakersfield.

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