BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Bakersfield Homeless Center received a $95,000 grant from Bank of America to help support its afterschool and job development program.
The grant will go towards helping fund its afterschool Champ Camp program for the 2021-2022 school year and purchase a new box van with a lift that will be used for the Job Development Program.
BHC officials said the Champ Camp program supports children and families experiencing homelessness by providing an educational enrichment afterschool program for children in kindergarten through eighth grade.
According to a release, due to stay-at-home orders from the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the number of students in the program nearly tripled, depleting funds, as the Champ Camp turned into a full-time program in order support distance learning. The grant from Bank of America will enable the program to continue for the next school year as children return to a normal school schedule, the release said.
The BHC’s Job Development Program is a resource that connects homeless and at-risk individuals with part-time and entry-level job opportunities and provides training to qualified individuals who are looking for employment. The center’s box van vehicle plays an essential role in providing driving experience that many of these positions require. The Bank of America grant will help the center purchase a new vehicle with a lift that will be used for training purposes. The vehicle will also be used to help the center pick up donations and supplies.