BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — For the last 10 months, we have brought you updates on the Brundage Lane Navigation Center for the Homeless. Now, there is less than one week until the center officially opens.
The navigation center is not only providing beds and meals but also services and resources to help residents get back on their feet, and in less than a week, the facility will finally be ready.
It's a celebration that has been in the works since January 2019, and starting Monday, Oct. 26, the Brundage Lane Navigation Center will finally be ready to open its doors providing shelter for the homeless population.
"We aren't just giving you a meal and a bed, we are going to be focused on placing you or connecting you with a housing plan," said Timothy Huynh, chief program officer for Mercy House.
The Center will be able to hold up to 150 people, both men, and women, in hopes to eventually help people get permanent housing.
"Our goal is to get people into the shelter and then out of the shelter as fast as possible," said Huynh.
Timothy Huynh, chief program officer for Mercy House, the organization that will be operating the facility, tells 23ABC that their target length of stay for their residents is 90 days, where they will provide them with job training, mental health, and medical services.
He also says that in order to make residents feel more comfortable, they don't have to be alone.
"We discovered that if we allow people to come in as a couple then they would come in, we could engage them in services we could engage them in creating a housing plan and then we could move forward instead of being homeless on the streets. It's the same thing if they have a pet, if you're on the streets and you have a pet, that pet might be your only family," said Huynh.
Huynh is hopeful that this new facility will help reduce homeless numbers in Kern County and Monday is a good first step towards that goal.
"Whatever barriers there are between a homeless person and housing we want to identify those barriers and lower those barriers and get people connected to housing as fast as possible," said Huynh.
The center will officially open on Monday and will be accepting clients through referral forms and service providers.