NewsCovering Kern County


Bakersfield City Council set to vote on low-barrier homeless shelter location Wednesday

Posted at 10:19 AM, Jan 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-22 13:19:55-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — It's a big day for the Bakersfield City Council. A motion to vote on the location of the low-barrier homeless shelter that initially happened in September will happen Wednesday.

"The voters of our community elected us to do a job and that is to make a decision. And we have to make a decision. It's not the time to sit on the fence and continue to delay this decision," said Councilmember Andrae Gonzalez.

After months of community input, some members of the council are still standing by their initial decisions.

"I still favor partnering with the county of Kern. I've been a big proponent of that. That's the best use of taxpayer dollars," said Councilmember Willie Rivera.

"I'm a strong proponent of the Calcot facility and my hope is that the full council is in agreement," argued Gonzalez.

23ABC reached out to all members of the council. Some did not respond, but others said they are still up in the air about their decision.

"One big thing has changed and that is that people are better informed. I think our staff is better informed and the residents of Bakersfield are better informed. I hope that means when the city council sits down [Wednesday] we will be able to make a more informed decision based on the facts," continued Rivera.

One of the services that will also be discussed at Wednesday's city council meeting includes an eastside police substation on the Calcot facility. The Bakersfield Police Department shared that assessment with 23ABC, which states it is contingent on the Calcot property only, not any of the other property options for the shelter.

Wednesday's city council meeting will take place at 5:15 p.m. and is open to public comment.