NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodArvin / Lamont

Actions

UNDOCUMENTED & HOMELESS: The challenges for some at the Arvin Navigation Center

Majority of homeless individuals visiting the Arvin Navigation Center are undocumented
Posted at 5:45 PM, Mar 28, 2024

ARVIN, Calif. (KERO) — Homelessness continues to be a persistent issue affecting the county and in rural communities, helping these individuals apply for housing becomes a greater challenge.

  • Video shows how undocumented homeless individuals have a harder time obtaining housing because of their citizenship status.
  • When individuals struggling with homelessness visit the Arvin Navigation Center (ANC), their ultimate goal is to obtain affordable housing.
  • According to the ANC, the majority of homeless individuals visiting their facility are undocumented, a status that makes it more challenging to for them to obtain affordable housing.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Homelessness continues to be a persistent issue affecting the county and in rural communities, helping these individuals apply for housing becomes a greater challenge.

Andrew Dominguez, program manager at the ANC who said this issue is becoming more common at their facility.

"The majority, in more recent times—probably within the last six months—have been undocumented," stated Dominguez.

He said it becomes a challenge for them to house the undocumented since most of them lack vital documents including verification of homelessness, California ID, social security card, birth certificate, and—if disabled—disability certification.

Jose Delgado is one of those individuals.

"For over a year now we have been working with Mr. Delgado to try to move forward in the immigration process to try to receive some sort of legal status," said Dominguez.

A status that Delgado says he was close to obtaining. When he first migrated to Arvin in 1999, he was working in the fields and a year later he met his wife who he married in 2015.

Delgado told me his wife was a U.S. citizen and was in the process of filing his permanent residency when she passed away.

After her death, Delgado says he became depressed and turned to alcohol to cope with his emotions. It soon became an addiction that caused him to lose his job and later his home.

"I didn't attempt suicide, but it did cross my mind several times," said Delgado. "I wanted to end my life because I didn't feel worthy, I hadn't accomplished anything."

But this changed when he started attending the ANC. Delgado says he received therapy to deal with his depression and even went to rehab to quit drinking alcohol. However, he is yet to be able to obtain affordable housing due to his citizenship status.

"I don't want to be homeless my entire life. It makes me depressed—it makes me feel bad—I have no family, I don't eat--sometimes I find myself looking in the dumpster for food or asking people for some," said Delgado.

According to the Navigation Center, Delgado's story is just one of many…and with the lack of documentation, he runs the risk of becoming chronically homeless.


Stay in Touch with Us Anytime, Anywhere: