BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Bakersfield City Council voted on several initiatives Wednesday night to address the homelessness crisis facing the city.
The council voted to apply for state funding from assembly bill 101 signed by Governor Gavin Newsom last July which authorizes the homeless housing assistance and prevention program. The program is a $650 million dollar block grant designed to help support homelessness challenges facing the state.
The funds are based on the city's proportionate share of the state's overall homeless population which is 130,000 thousand people according to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. If the city is successful, they will be granted 3.3 million dollars in funding in addition to measure N funds which council-member Andrae Gonzales says is exceeding initial expectations.
The Council also approved a contract with the Bakersfield Homeless Shelter to provide cleaning services in the area. The cleanup service will consist of six, two person crews, working between the hours of 6:30am and 11:00am Monday through Friday in the downtown area between Truxtun and 24th street, F and O street and the Old Town Kern area between King, East Truxtun and Sumner, along with the public right way on Baker between Sumner and Montery Street. The service agreement runs throught December 31, 2020.
The Council also extended an agreement with the contractor Asela to address cleanup of human waste in Old Town Kern and the downtown area for another three months. Over the first three months, the contractor responded to 750 service requests.
"While there is more work to be done, these are two important steps forward," said council-member Andrae Gonzalez.