BARC packaging program ends due to lack of funds

Posted at 2:34 PM, Feb 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-26 20:20:07-05

BARC's packaging program is officially closing its doors Friday because of a lack of funding.

One month ago BARC made the announcement that its on the move program and packaging program would end because there wasn't enough money. 

Thanks to donations from the community, the on the move program and packaging program was able to stay open longer than expected. President of BARC, Jim Baldwin, said he is so thankful for the local support. 

The BARC on the move program helps disabled clients be more active by doing things like sitting upright, walking and interacting with others.

While BARC packaging provides jobs for the clients where they make labels, assemble brochures or pack boxes. 

The on the move program ended on February 12, 2016.

Baldwin, said it's sad to see the program go, "These are the greatest people I’ve ever known in my entire life and they love to work, they love to be productive."

Many local legislators have urged Governor Jerry Brown to increase the funding by 10 percent. Assembly member Rudy Salas, Assembly member Shannon Grove and State Senator Jean Fuller have all been supportive of increasing funds for the intellectual and developmentally disabled. 

"We’ve had the best legislative support I’ve seen in 22 years," said Baldwin. "We’ve got tremendous leadership and we’re grateful for them."

Assembly member Salas said funding for these programs are important. "These programs are vital to those individuals and to our community and making sure people have honest work and are moving forward.” 

Baldwin said he wished there was more funding support from Governor Jerry Brown. 

He said some funding may be given to BARC if AB2X-1 passes and moves through the legislature, but it's not exactly what he wanted. 

Assembly member Salas said, “I’ll continue to fight to make sure that California and the legislature fulfill the promises to individuals with developmental disabilities and continue to fight with the Governor to make sure he knows how important these programs are not only for those individuals directly effected but the community and how that effects and ripples throughout California and not just Kern County."

While Salas continues to fight at the state level, Baldwin said he and the BARC organization will continue doing what they're best at, "BARC does one thing, they give people purpose. That’s what we do and we’re going to continue to do that."

Baldwin said he urges everyone to write a letter or make a phone call to Gov. Brown to ask for more funding for the BARC program.