BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Women and children are a growing population within the homeless community in our area. That's according to the executive director at the Mission at Kern County. Now, the Mission at Kern County has opened a new transitional home that may change that for mothers facing addiction and homelessness.
The women who come through the doors of the Lee & Krystyna Jamieson Transitional Home for Women and Children are looking to change the course of their life. They have gone through the first 18 months of recovery and are now heading in a better direction but just need a bit more guidance.
Lee & Krystyna Jamieson Transitional Home for Women and Children
The 13-bedroom Lee & Krystyna Jamieson Recovery Home for women and children was opened. Every room has been filled for three years with mothers who desire a better (addiction-free) life for themselves and their children. The 18-month, faith-based, residential addiction recovery program is just the first step. After graduating from The Mission at Kern County’s 18- month Addiction Recovery Program, these mothers and their children will be offered an additional year to remain under The Mission’s umbrella of service. The home will be a safe environment for these families to continue to gain the tools needed to move forward into an independent life in permanent housing.
"The stability. I mean I could probably live out of my car but who wants that with a kid," said resident Cristal Hill.
Hill entered the first phase of the program when she became pregnant with her third daughter, who is now 18 months old.
"So, knowing that I could be here, save up money. Actually have time to look at houses, instead of stressing about not having the budget or this and that. So just having that weight lifted off my shoulders."
Most of the women at the home are in the same boat and have found hope within the program, like Erika Lopez.
"It helped me be more structured with my time, and just be able to meet the goals that I wanted to meet. Now I can do that. I do need some help still but I am getting there. I am able to do things on my own and accomplish things."
Lopez, who has five kids, like Hill has also struggled with addiction and homelessness. Now she wants to give back.
"I want to go to school for substance abuse counselor. That is one of my dreams."
Executive Director Carlos Baldovinos says this continuation is important because recovery is a lifelong struggle.
"You know just because they finish one program it doesn't mean it is over. Recovery can be a lifelong situation that they need to be part of a group to stay plugged in."
Baldovinos adds that this project took three years to complete and is happy to see it all come together to be able to help more mothers struggling in our community.
The women will now embark on another 18-month journey at this home as they work to reach their goals.