BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Homelessness it’s a signature issue for 23ABC and one center not only provides temporary housing for residents but also finds permanent housing for people, and today they celebrated their one-year anniversary.
It’s a special day for the Brundage Lane Navigation Center and since they opened a year ago, they have served close to 800 people, but they’ve also permanently housed at least 80 of them.
“After that, I got here, and I was kind of nervous about coming here because I’ve never been in a shelter before, but once I got here, I realized, the people here are beautiful, and they help you through everything.” John Porter, Former Guest at the BLNC
Living on the streets isn’t easy. Porter lost his child and his job, but he said it was the navigation center that helped him get back on his feet.
“So, I wound up in the streets. His mom took him from him. Wound up in the streets for two years and some people, some people told me to call 211. I wound up calling 211 and 211 led me to flood. Ministry from the ministry met me to hear the navigation center,” said Porter.
Unlike other shelters, the Navigation Center allows partners, pets, and other possessions.
Cathleen Darwin stayed there for six months and got to bring her dog, Pailey, and said they helped her through a difficult time.
“Theo always said trust the process, so I trusted it. It was hard some days because I'm not used to this kind of environment. So, but it was it's good,” said Darwin.
She said she felt relieved to know there was a roof over her head.
“I was still able to go do whatever I needed to go doing, and at night I had someplace to be,” said Darwin.
While the facility is at capacity right now, councilmember Andrae Gonzales said he’s looking forward to the future of BLNC.
“I’m very excited about the future of BLNC. We’ve already been able to permanently house over 80 individuals within the first year. That far surpasses what we had expected a year ago today,” said Gonzales.
Porter added that at the BLNC everyone becomes family.
“They take you in and give you a hug and love you from there, you know what I mean, it’s beautiful,” said Porter.
Since the center is full, last week the city approved an expansion of the Navigation Center up to 150 beds. No dates have been set for that process at this time.
The interviews that were included in this story were provided by the City of Bakersfield and were not conducted by 23ABC