NewsKern's Kindness


Bakersfield homeless shelter gets a new look

"An ode to helping people find their way home."
Garden of Hope Mural
Posted at 7:29 AM, Oct 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-20 11:26:48-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — “This mural is an ode to helping people find their way home," said Sarah Nobles with Creative Crossing.

The entrance at the Mercy House - Brundage Lane Navigation Center has a new look.

“When people come to this shelter, the first thing they’ll see is bright color and a message of hope. As they go through their programs and services here, [they’re] consistently supported and the mural serves as that visual reminder," said Sarah.

Through the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Bakersfield Team Two worked with Creative Crossing and Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services to beautify part of the homeless shelter.

Muralists Christopher Perez, Mario Gonzalez, Deja Nunez, Jennifer Jaime and Shae Nunez created the artwork.

They say the green ribbon wrapping around the new mural is symbolic.

“Bringing awareness and the wrap-around approach, so you’ll see the beauty within the mural. [The] wrapping of the lime green awareness ribbon for behavioral health, which is our signature color, wrapping around the supports that are needed for people that are really just trying to stabilize and get back on their feet," said Doctor Christina Rajlal with Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services.

The project isn’t just about art though.

“They also built a sustainable garden for their residents here to harvest food and then take it to their table," said Sarah.

The garden will teach residents at the shelter helpful skills and provide them with fresh food. The team wants the new entrance to make the shelter feel more inviting.

“[It] could be a kind of sterile environment, right? We’re at a homeless shelter where 150 people are housed every night. This takes it and this makes it into an actual home," said Team Two project leader David Brust.

And they hope this finished project reminds anyone who comes through the shelter that they can make a change.

“To give the clients that come in and out hope every day that there’s a way up out of poverty and off the streets and into a home," said David.

As for next steps, they’ll be focusing on growing out the herb garden so the residents can get involved as soon as possible.

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