The 2nd Annual 23ABC Bakersfield Baby Shower is happening next month and you're invited! We're introducing you to another host of this community-wide event: The Mission at Kern County. 23ABC's Kristin Vartan has more details on a program to help mothers experiencing homelessness.
The Mission at Kern County opened the Women and Children's Recovery Home in May 2018. They help about 20 to 25 women per year. For them, it's not about the number of women they help. The Mission's Carlos Baldavinos emphasizes that the recovery home is not a shelter, but a program for women and children in need. The center aims to pinpoint underlying issues that lead to women experiencing homelessness.
"I have yet to meet a woman to tell me, 'hey Carlos, today I'm going to start using drugs,' or 'today I'm going to start abusing alcohol. It's a gradual thing, of issues or circumstances to get them to that situation," said Baldovinos.
The curriculum: one-on-one counseling, relapse prevention, budgeting workshops, and essentially a 'residency' in the Mission's encore boutique to teach women long-term job skills. And yes, there's graduation at the end of the 18-month program.
But the center is not just the moms they want to help, but it is also meant to be a temporary home for children that come with them.
"That's our future and we need to start investing in that future," explained Baldovinos. "I'm very passionate about helping those children, helping the moms of course, but I do not want those children to fall into the path of drug or substance abuse."
Baldovinos adds that about 25 percent of the children that enter the center with their mothers are babies.
With the 23ABC Baby Shower just around the corner and the promise of a new class of women and children coming to the program in January, the Mission is hoping to gather sufficient resources as they expect more little ones.
"It's a community. That's the beautiful thing about Kern County and Bakersfield: it's a very loving and benevolent community, that if there's a need, everybody pitches in."
This holiday season and until November 19th, join 23ABC and Hall Ambulance as we collect baby items and supplies for families in need.
Join us for our drive-thru event on Thursday, November 19th at our 23ABC Studios at 321 21st Street in Downtown Bakersfield.
Remember, your donations benefit families in need at the Bakersfield Pregnancy Center.
Help 23ABC and Hall Ambulance in making this holiday season a happier one for our local families.
The Bakersfield Pregnancy Center is accepting new and gently used donations of the following for babies and infants:
- Diapers: Sizes Newborn – 5
- Clothes: Premie – 12 months; very gently used OK
- New Car Seats
- Cribs: Less than 5 years old
- Crib Bedding
- New Bottles
- Breast Pumps
- Toys: infant-toddlers
- Baby Wash, Shampoo, Lotion, Diaper Rash Cream
- Teething Rings
- Books: regarding pregnancy, first year of baby, books to read to baby/toddlers
- Maternity Clothes: these will be distributed through Junk-a-tique outlet for free to clients
- Baby Carriers, Diaper Bags
- Bottle Warmers
If you are unsure if your item qualifies or if you have any questions about what can be donated, call the Bakersfield Pregnancy Center at 661-326-1915