BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Homelessness continues to be a signature issue here in Kern County, but some help is coming in the form of funds, approved by the board of supervisors earlier today.
The Mission at Kern County is one of several organizations that will benefit from a portion of a $400,000 grant to help combat homelessness throughout the county, and the shelter's executive director says this money is needed now more than ever as we get through this pandemic.
"Especially once the rent moratorium expires, this is not meant forever as you know, so there's a lot of things that come into play in the days ahead regarding these dollars and allocations of dollars that are coming into our facilities.”
Carlos Baldovinos with the Mission at Kern County says their annual budget is roughly $5.6 million, and this $100,000 emergency solutions grant will help go toward shelter services and operations.
“You're looking at the housing, the feeding, the case management and the outreach to these individuals.”
Baldovinos says this also includes working with them from a case management standpoint.
“Because at the end of the day we don’t want them to be homeless long term. We want to help them get into a sustainable living environment like permanent housing.”
On Tuesday, the board of supervisors approved a plan to allocate $400,000 for Kern County’s homeless population which will be shared among the Mission at Kern County, Bethany’s Services, Flood Bakersfield Ministries and Women's Center High Desert.
“This grant is a reimbursement grant so you have to spend the money first before getting the reimbursement.”
Baldovinos says that this money is given on a yearly basis, but they're especially in need this year.
“It's something that we put to use something we count on as an organization we're seeing it right? In our community. More than we've probably ever seen before the pandemic.”
In the near future Baldovinos says they'll be opening a women's and children transitional home in Oildale which is currently under construction.