Kern County has seen an increase in the homeless population over the past couple of years. The Brundage Lane Navigation Center that is still in the construction stages, is asking the city for a resolution to expedite materials and services in order to get the center open on time.
23abc's Bayne Froney spoke with the Navigation Center about why this resolution is needed in order to keep the center on track to open this upcoming fall.
Joseph Conroy, the Public Information officer for the City Managers office said, "With COVID-19 going there have been, obviously delays going on for people to get materials and goods and services and things have been harder to do because everyone has got to take extra precautions right now."
With delays due to COVID, the Brundage Lane Navigation Center wants to be prepared, and have materials and services expedited just in case something goes wrong causing the center to not be able to open on time.
Conroy said, "everything is taking a little bit longer, so we want to be able to get started on these things as soon as possible."
The materials and services needed that require council approval include beds and furniture for individuals at the shelter, as well as kitchen equipment, HVAC units, fending and other exterior improvement services.
"We are trying to get that taken care of so that we can bring those in, in time for us to open and actually be able to provide these services." Conroy stated.
As of right now the navigation center is still on track to open in the fall. But, there is not a specific date that the center is planning to open on.
Larry Haynes, the Executive Director for Mercy House said, "We're on schedule, it is doing what it is supposed to do."
Once finished the city of Bakersfield has partnered with Mercy House to help with organizing and running the center. The main goal to find permanent housing for those in need.
"I'm optimistic, I know we can end homelessness, we know what to do, we know how to end this and it really all focuses on housing." Haynes continued.
Once the center is open it is expected to hold up to 150 residents that will be using their services.